Wake Forest: The Country of My Heart

The Wake Forest Historical Museum is proud to announce a new exhibit dedicated to life as experienced by students of Wake Forest College during the school’s final years on the Old Campus. The exhibit takes its title from the man who has come to be known as “Mr. Wake Forest.”

Wake Forest University Provost Emeritus Edwin G. Wilson often has called Wake Forest “the country of my heart.” In expressing this sentiment, he echoes the words of novelist D. H. Lawrence, who once used the phrase to describe the deep affection he felt for his boyhood home of Nottinghamshire, England.

In fact, this entire exhibit is a testament to the deep affection felt by members of the Class of 1956. For nearly five years, these graduates worked together to raise the funds needed for its construction. Led by classmate Richard Day (WFC ‘56), this group of friends made phone calls, composed letters, sent emails, and attended museum functions. They donated artifacts and worked with Executive Director Ed Morris to launch special museum mailings requesting support from every Class of ’56 graduate they could reach. Success came early this year, and construction on the exhibit began.

Featured prominently among the items on display are sections of Everette Snyder’s College Soda Fountain, a baton twirled by Class of ’56 graduate and noted WFC majorette Marietta Perry Dormire, and an interactive feature with original recordings taken from the speech given by Dr. Hubert McNeill Poteat to graduates at the last commencement held on the Old Campus on May 21, 1956.

Visitors to the museum will find this exhibit an exciting new addition to the main gallery and one that extends beyond a single graduating class to embrace many of the quirks, hallmarks, and headlines that made life on campus memorable from the mid-1940s through the 1950s.

Although there will be important details about the Class of 1956, this exhibit gives the museum a chance to showcase interesting facts about top college publications, social activities, academics, athletics, and broadcast radio. It also provides a newly designated space to describe the move to Winston-Salem and explore its impact on students, faculty, and residents of the town.

We look forward to seeing you!

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