Chapter Four: 1986–1987 69
C.C. Hope Jr. (’43) was sworn in as a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation’s Board of Directors.
Earle A. Connelly (’48) of Troy, North Carolina, became President of the Uni-
versity’s Alumni Association for 1986–1987.
Summing Up the Year
The year 1986–1987 was one of the zeniths for this administration. The formal end to
the connection with the North Carolina Baptist State Convention was profound and
freed Wake Forest to grow in many dimensions as an institution of higher education.
The gift of the RJR Nabisco corporate headquarters building was also a major acqui-
sition and opened possibilities that were not expected to accrue for at least another
decade.
Two new degree offerings, the evening MBA and the Master of Arts in Liberal
Studies, attracted more regional students and attention to Wake Forest. The hiring
of Bill Dooley as the new Head Football Coach signaled to alumni and rivals alike
that the University intended to be competitive in a sport where it had seen little suc-
cess. The success of women’s teams in cross-country and field hockey was another
indicator that the Deacons were striving for victory in all their athletic endeavors.
Successful negotiations with the City of Winston-Salem over the building of a new
coliseum held out hope for a reversal of basketball fortunes and a return to home
games in Winston-Salem after several years of playing ACC games at the Greensboro
Coliseum.
Planning continued to emphasize both physical facilities, such as the new stu-
dent center and a Silas Creek bypass, and faculty recruitment and growth. Although
students were not aware of it, the consolidation of residence life and housing, as well
as President Hearn’s interests in preventing substance abuse, would have direct and
positive impacts in future years. Finally, Maria Merritt’s Rhodes scholarship was con-
tinuing evidence in support of Wake Forest’s reputation for academic excellence. The
University was poised for future growth, both qualitatively and quantitatively. It was
independent!
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