Wake Forest Historical Museum

LOCATION: 414 N. Main Street Wake Forest, NC 27587 CONTACT: 919-556-2911

Demon Deacon

Deacon Display

The colors “Old Gold and Black” have long been associated with Wake Forest, and early nicknames were the “Baptists” and at one point the “tigers.” But the name “Demon Deacon” is most strongly associated with Wake Forest and dates to 1923 when newspaper editor Mayon Parker (’24) said that the team played like “Demon Deacons.”

The roots of the mascot Demon Deacon can be traced to 1932, when band director Nevill Isbel asked Allie Hayes (’35) to dress up in a split-tail coat and top hat and serve as drum major for the band. Several of the religion professors had wanted Wake Forest to be associated with its Baptist heritage and decided on the garb of an old Baptist preacher.

The first “Demon Deacon” mascot was Jack Baldwin (’43) who, at the urging of fraternity brothers, donned top hat, tails, and a black umbrella symbolizing a deacon and led the football team onto the field riding the North Carolina ram.

Alumni and students alike embraced the mascot and have watched the evolution of the beloved symbol of Wake Forest over the years.

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This entry was posted on July 24, 2013 by in Exhibits and tagged , , , .

Hours & Info

Tues-Fri: 9am-noon & 1:30-4:30pm
Sun: 2pm-5pm

Closed: Saturday and Monday

Call us at 919.556.2911

Free Admission

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Atlas Ray, owner of a legendary store in the Harricanes, was among those remembered at the WFHA program on country stores. Just received several reels of 16mm film. Looks like 1950s home movies of the Demon Deacs in the Billy Barnes days!!! From the April 1961 Wake Forest phone book... instructions on how to use a dial telephone, how to dial a number, how to interpret ringing and busy signals, and what to do on a party line. Anyone else remember those days? This amazing photo from Sanford Bailey shows just HALF of the folks at the 1954 Powell Family Reunion!!!