With great sadness and appreciation, Wake Forest acknowledges the passing of two giants in the University’s history: Weston Hatfield (’41) and Michael Farrell (P ’10). While these extraordinary leaders from different backgrounds and different eras may not have met, they shared a love for Wake Forest. Through their gifts and talents, each leaves an important and long-lasting legacy.
Weston Hatfield (’41), who served three terms on the University’s Board of Trustees, was a longtime Winston-Salem attorney and one of Wake Forest’s most influential leaders. His guidance came during some of the University’s significant milestones, including the break with the Baptist State Convention, the largest capital campaign of its time and a major campus building program. Hatfield served on the selection committee that tapped Thomas K. Hearn Jr. as Wake Forest’s 12th president in 1983, and later as board chair, twice.
President Nathan O. Hatch said, “His keen intellect, progressive spirit and eloquence will be missed.”
“He was one of the most important men of his generation for Wake Forest,” added Provost Emeritus Edwin G. Wilson (’43).
Michael A.J. Farrell
Mike Farrell came to love Wake Forest when his son, Michael (’10), studied finance and economics here. Despite not having finished college, the co-founder, chairman and co-CEO of Annaly Capital Management served on the University’s Board of Trustees and the Board of Visitors for the Schools of Business and the Calloway School.
Just a few months after his son graduated, he and his wife, Mary, gave the largest gift the Schools of Business has ever received. Today, the campus community sees the walls of Farrell Hall rise as a tribute to the family’s past and a gateway to Wake Forest students’ future.
“The dream is where in a world where we’re moving towards electronic interaction and online educational kinds of opportunities, this addition to campus is a place where people will gather and will gather long after graduation,” Farrell said of the 110,000-square-foot center. “There’s nothing like the personal interaction. I think we will need it to get through some of the challenges going forward.”
President Hatch said, “It has been a rare privilege to know a man so gifted and so good, and we mourn his loss.”
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