Chapter Five: 1987–1988 75
In a related event, the Women’s Issues Group signed a statement on February 17
supporting the gay and lesbian community at the University in response to concerns
about homophobia on campus. The group also formed committees offering support
for gays and lesbians. The group decided to take this action at its January 28 meeting,
after discussing racism, sexism, and homophobia, according to Mary DeShazer (Eng-
lish), who served as Director of the Women’s Studies Program. The statement read:
“I support the gay and lesbian student community on the Wake Forest University
campus. I affirm the right of individual differences and I acknowledge my belief that
equality is the mutual acceptance of differences.”
To promote the hiring of young faculty with children, a faculty group, headed
by Becky Myers (Dance) and Claire Hammond (Economics), promoted the idea of a
day-care program.
In other matters, the faculty unanimously passed a resolution on March 14 to abol-
ish the campus-wide visitation policy and to allow almost unrestricted visitation. It also
established a 50–50 male-to-female ratio as a basis for admissions. Paul Kaplan (Art)
headed the committee that formed the resolution and presented it at the faculty meeting.
The Alumni Association formally announced the creation of an Alumni Scholarship
program, which would later be called the Presidential Scholarship Program. It aimed to
attract students who excelled in the arts, public speaking, creative writing, entrepreneur-
ial activities, service to others, or a specific intellectual pursuit. President Hearn wrote
David Rader of Morganton on July 8, 1987: “We anticipate offering thirteen scholar-
ships valued at $3,000 per year, with the number of scholarships increasing to twenty in
subsequent years.” Actually, ten were offered initially. The purpose was “to increase the
diversity of the student body and enrich the Wake Forest undergraduate experience.”
In an effort to promote community and to eliminate student problems related
to alcohol abuse, the President sent out a memo to faculty on March 4, urging them
to have social contact with students “from our academic programs.” While Hearn’s
urging was sincere, no new or program-wide initiatives resulted.
Faculty were active and honored in their own domains. Maya Angelou, Reynolds
Professor of American Studies, was one of five recipients of the 1987 North Carolina
Award, the state’s highest recognition, at a ceremony in Raleigh on November 6.
She was the first Wake Forest faculty member to be so distinguished, although poet
Archie Ammons (’49) won in 1986.
Cyclone Covey (History) published The Gulf of the Past, addressing Henry
James’s assertion that “fiction is history.” Margaret Supplee Smith (Art) coordinated
a project on North Carolina women’s history for the North Carolina Museum of
History. Alumnus and future Trustee K. Wayne Smith was appointed a University
Professor, teaching courses in the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy and
the Political Science Department; English Professor Mary DeShazer became the first
full-time coordinator of the Women’s Studies Program; and Dijon Program Direc-
tor Mary Francis Robinson epitomized heroism by wading waist-deep in the Gar-
don River in southern France on October 30, 1987, to rescue a drowning woman. In
another humane act, Sociology Professor Emeritus Clarence H. Patrick and his wife,
Adele, gave $10,000 to establish a fund for sociology lectures. Patrick had chaired the
department from 1948–1964.
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