Media Advisory: Memorial service arrangements for Dr. Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou’s family has arranged a private memorial service in Wake Forest University’s Wait Chapel on Saturday, June 7 at 10 a.m.

Due to limited seating capacity, the family has decided to have a closed service for family and friends only. Wake Forest University will livestream the service for the public at

The family will be planning additional celebrations of her life in other cities across the country. Her son, Guy B. Johnson, will release information about these destinations at a later date.

Access to campus

Every invited guest and media vehicle must display a designated parking pass to enter campus on Saturday, June 7. Additional details about suggested arrival times and parking procedures will be provided to invited guests and credentialed media.

Wake Forest University students, faculty and staff will also receive information about access to campus on Saturday.

Members of the Winston-Salem community should be advised of anticipated heavy traffic along University Parkway, Reynolda Road and in the surrounding area on Saturday morning.

Media arrangements

Media seeking credentials to attend the service must complete an online request form on the “Memorial Service” tab at No alternate arrangements will be made and requests do not guarantee access.

The number of media permitted to attend may be limited due to space availability.

Additional information about parking, pick-up for credentials and site checks for media will be forthcoming.

Media will also be able to embed this livestream link into their own webpages, if desired. Please visit the “Memorial Service” tab at

Additional information

The family would like the public to know that, in lieu of bringing flowers or other memorials to campus, donations may be made to Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Facts about Wait Chapel

  • Wait Chapel seats 2,250 people.
  • It is the largest non-athletic indoor seating venue on campus.
  • Wait Chapel is used primarily for academic ceremonies, convocations, concerts, high-profile speakers and weddings.
  • Wake Forest University hosted two presidential debates in Wait Chapel: in 1988 between then-Vice President George H.W. Bush and Governor Michael Dukakis, and in 2000 between then-Governor George W. Bush against Vice President Al Gore.
  • Dr. Angelou’s last speaking engagement in Wait Chapel was in 2008.

Facts about Dr. Maya Angelou’s relationship with Wake Forest University

  • Her first visit to campus was in 1973 for a speaking engagement in DeTamble Auditorium.
  • Wake Forest awarded Angelou an honorary degree in 1977.
  • Dr. Angelou served as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University since 1982.
  • The last class she taught at Wake Forest was in the summer of 2011.
  • Dr. Angelou taught a variety of humanities courses, including “World Poetry in Dramatic Performance,” “Race, Politics and Literature,” “African Culture and Impact on U.S.,” “Race in the Southern Experience” and “Shakespeare and the Human Condition.”
  • Dr. Angelou was planning to teach a course this fall called “Race, Culture and Gender in the U.S. South and Beyond.”
  • Dr. Angelou’s last public speaking engagement at Wake Forest University was on Nov. 6, 2013, when she delivered opening remarks in Brendle Recital Hall for a celebration of the campus-wide “Dignity and Respect Campaign.” Video of her remarks can be viewed here.
  • The University published a remembrance site at with additional information about Dr. Angelou’s teaching career and legacy at Wake Forest. People also may share their memories or condolences at this site.
  • Archived photos from Dr. Angelou’s time as a beloved faculty member available to media for publication via this Dropbox link. Captions are enclosed in a PDF in the same folder. Please credit Wake Forest University.

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

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