Media Advisory: Wake Forest marks 50th Anniversary of integration decision

On April 27, 1962, Wake Forest University trustees made the decision to end racial segregation at Wake Forest.

Fifty years later, Wake Forest kicks off  “Faces of Courage,” a yearlong celebration of the historic decision and how it has shaped the University.

Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch, Provost Emeritus Ed Wilson and Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Barbee Myers Oakes will speak at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 27, in the Porter B. Byrum Welcome Center’s auditorium.  Student speakers will include Matthew Simari, student trustee; Sonia Kuguru, first-year African student and member of Faces of Courage planning committee; and Tré Easton, student government president.

They will share the story of how students and faculty set the University on the path toward becoming an inclusive community and how Wake Forest continues to build on that tradition.

“By recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Board of Trustees’ decision to end racial segregation at Wake Forest, we will bring to life the many stories within our rich history that showcase the depth and value of our commitment to diversity and inclusion,” Hatch said.

Oakes is co-chair of the “Faces of Courage” committee planning for a year of celebrating the course Wake Forest has taken.  She will outline the “Faces of Courage” initiative and plans for related speakers, book readings, art events, concerts, panel discussions, campus gatherings, an oral history project, service opportunities, and student life activities during the 2012/2013 academic year.  Events will begin in the fall—coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the enrollment of Wake Forest’s first black student, Ed Reynolds—and run through the spring.

About Wake Forest University:

Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at

Categories: Media Advisory