Campaign leaders: Celeste M. Pittman (’67, P ’97, P ’00) and William B. Pittman (P ’97, P ’00)
Alumni, parents and friends from Eastern North Carolina gathered at Benvenue Country Club to celebrate the public launch of Wake Will. Wake Forest historian and retired professor Jenny Puckett (’71, P ’00) told the story of James Purefoy, a key figure in Wake Forest’s history.
After delivering the vision of the campaign, President Hatch honored several in the greater Rocky Mount area for the good work they have done within their community.
Betty Anne Whisnant (’68, P ’94), a retired social worker, serves with United Community Ministries, a non-profit organization committed to addressing the needs of the homeless in Nash and Edgecombe counties.
Elizabeth Edwards (’93) coordinates the work of Gatekeepers Workcamp, a partnership between Rocky Mount churches that encourages students to provide free home repairs to homeowners unable to maintain their houses due to financial or physical limitations.
Norma Turnage accepted recognition for her late husband, Fred Turnage (’58, JD ’61). Fred was an attorney and a nine-term mayor of Rocky Mount. He navigated his community for 34 years including the recovery efforts after the devastating Hurricane Floyd. He also was instrumental in confronting the complex issues of poverty and race relations.
Campaign leader: Lou Bissette (’65, P ’94, P ’97)
In the mountains of Asheville, Wake Foresters gathered at Biltmore Forest Country Club to celebrate the largest fundraising effort in the history of the University. Provost Rogan Kersh (’86) told the story of the Earnshaws, a much-beloved Wake Forest staff couple. E.B. Earnshaw was the University Bursar and his wife, Edith, worked in accounting. They bequeathed their entire estate to Wake Forest. They calculated that their gift would reimburse the school “for the total amount of our salaries, thus making our work with the College over the years, truly a labor of love.”
President Hatch honored Wilma Sherrill (’62) and Fred Bahnson for the work they do in Asheville. Wilma Sherrill has been instrumental in Asheville and throughout the state as a state legislator, community advocate and leader. Fred Bahnson, director of the School of Divinity’s Food, Faith and Religious Leadership Initiative, focuses on food justice and sustainable agriculture. He and his students are partnering with local food and hunger organizations in Asheville.
Lou Bissette ended the evening with a charge to the guests.
Campaign leader: Mike Queen (’68, P ’94)
Taylor Anne Adams (’14) welcomed friends from Wake Forest to the Wilmington event at Cape Fear Country Club in December. Mike Queen then told the story of Wake Forest alumnus John Lamb Pritchard, a pastor who served in Wilmington at the close of the Civil War and during the Yellow Fever epidemic.
President Hatch outlined his vision and honored three of Wake Forest’s finest. Dawn Hodges (’87) is the director of the Hill School of Wilmington, a school that empowers children who have learning differences with the skills needed to become confident, independent learners.
Jim Jones (’55, MD ’59) is a national crusader for family medicine. His passionate advocacy helps deliver medical care to poor and rural communities. He founded the family medicine program at East Carolina University and served as president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Chief District Court Judge J Corpening (’76, JD ’79) hears cases related to family and juvenile issues, but his activities outside the courtroom reaffirm his commitment to strengthen children and families. He is involved in the New Hanover County Partnership for Fatherhood, teaches law-related courses at UNC-Chapel Hill and writes original mock trials used to educate thousands of students.
Campaign leaders: Eric Eubank (’86, P ’15); Joanne Beam (’84).
The Bank of America Auditorium and the Charlotte Urban Garden hosted 480 alumni and friends as Dr. Hatch addressed Wake Will’s commitment to educating the whole person.
“A Wake Forest education was never intended to be confined by the four walls of a classroom,” he said.
Student campaign committee chair Taylor Anne Adams (’14) explained the holistic value of her education, and retired professor Jenny Puckett (’71, P ‘00) shared Wake Forest’s history of overcoming challenges from the 1880s to the present. Her presentation brought to life the stories of people whose resolve, vision, courage and leadership sustained and transformed the institution.
Four alumni were specifically honored for the community service they render in the spirit of Pro Humanitate: Libby Bell (’93), co-founder of Project Pumpkin, which has brought hundreds of local schoolchildren to campus every October for 20 years; Leslie (’91) and Phillips (’93) Bragg, who steered and spurred fundraising that built a school in war-ravaged South Sudan; Tommy Norman (’66), creator of a nonprofit helping Charlotte-area veterans return to civilian life; and Porter Byrum (JD ’42), one of the most generous benefactors in Wake Forest history. One honoree lauded another when Jessica Bell (JD ’05) contextualized the legacy of Mr. Byrum, who built a practice in commercial real estate and development with core values that prioritized compassion.
Campaign leaders: Jack Lowden ('79, MBA '82, P ’11, ’14, ’15); Will Sinclair (’07).
Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall was the site as 327 guests made it out on that snowy night. They heard from Vice President Andy Chan; Provost Rogan Kersh (’86); and Trustee and local committee chair Jack Lowden ('79, MBA '82, P ’11, ’14, ’15). All three stressed a commitment to the Wake Foresters who will ultimately benefit from the campaign and to the quality of the experience they will enjoy.
They also heard remarks from Dr. Hatch and saw an entertaining, fast-paced, one-minute video that explained Wake Will’s place in the University’s history of bold, decisive and ultimately productive action.
“It is now up to us, all stakeholders in Wake Forest – alumni, parents and friends – to accept the responsibility of investing in the future of our beloved University and the next generation of leaders,” Mr. Lowden said.
Campaign leaders: Mit Shah (’91); Michelle (’83, P ’15, ’17) and Jeff (P ’15, ’17) Neville; Evelyn (P ’11, ’12,) and David (P ’11, ’12,) Curtis; Davis Jackson (’93), and Trustee Janice Story (’75).
For one night, the eclectic Woodruff Arts Center was distinctly Old Gold and Black as 240 guests attended. Taylor Anne Adams and Jenny Puckett reprised their contributions from the evening in Charlotte, and Mit Shah, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, announced the Atlanta committee’s intent to raise $18 million for Wake Will.
“Many of you invest generously in meaningful work,” Mr. Shah said. “Tonight we call on you to invest as well in the extraordinary young people who come to Wake Forest University, and like many of you, devote themselves to leading lives that matter.”
The program also honored the Pro Humanitate achievements of four distinguished alumni: Tom Cook (’95), who created an organization that helps people recently released from prison in their reintegration to society; Andrew Snorton (’93), who works with nonprofits dedicated to leadership development and college scholarship assistance; Andy Piazza (’91), who took up triathlons in honor of his sister and is this year’s chair of Atlanta’s Race for the Cure to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation; and Greg Aikens (’06), who despite being blind, graduated from Wake Forest, earned the National Achievement Award from Learning Ally, a nonprofit dedicated to helping dyslexic students’ educational and personal growth, and has dedicated his career to educating visually impaired students.
“Thanks for a great evening. Great presentation. We appreciate being invited.“
-- Chris (’68) and Gail Marshall, Atlanta, GA