Thank you to all of the members of the Class of 1969 for sharing the story of their life’s journey since graduation. It’s fun to read about one another’s families, careers, passions, Wake Forest memories and future plans.
Cassandra Martin Baker
Fifty Years—360 Degrees—-Many Sectors
Many Memories—Many Stops—Back To the Beginning
My beginning Wake Forest memories put me in a cavernous, single room painted institutional green with cinder block walls in the basement of Johnson Dorm. I remember standing there wondering where my furniture would go and how could I possibly decorate that space.
My Wake Forest experience was wonderful with friendships, activities, and a math major that well prepared me for many math-related jobs. The best part was meeting Jerry Baker (WFU ’68) spring of my freshman year which led to a June 1969 wedding. Our journey continues as we have just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.
And what a journey it has been and continues to be! As someone whose math mind still works most days, I find myself using mathematical terms in my vocabulary from time to time. Thus, the title of this entry—360 Degrees—Many Sectors.
After a Rocky Mount, NC wedding, Jerry and I began our journey together in Cambridge where Jerry was already into his graduate program at Harvard Divinity School. Giving thanks to my strong math professors (I am still in touch with Bob Johnson who continues to inspire me.), I worked in a Boston bank as a systems analyst. Cambridge, Boston and New England made our first sector quite an eye-opening experience for a “girl from the south.”
Cambridge was the first sector with others following in New Jersey, Miami, Connecticut, Milwaukee, Fort Worth, Atlanta, Destin, Highlands and Lake Gaston. Each sector has been filled with very rewarding work experiences—banking and insurance IT (They didn’t call it IT back then!), teaching, private tutoring, systems work and financial administration for Jerry’s business.
And each sector has also been filled with very rewarding volunteer work with schools, church, Scouts, community causes and Wake Forest.
I count my Wake Forest connections and volunteer time as true highlights of my life. Along the way, I have served 2 terms on the College Alumni Council, been Co-Chair (with Jerry) of the WFU Parents’ Council, headed the Alumni-in-Admissions program in Georgia for many years, and been involved with several of our class reunions. We have had football season tickets for years and try to attend as many other events as we can. GO DEACS!
My current Wake Forest sector began 10 years ago when our move back to North Carolina placed me close to the Town of Wake Forest. You know—the Old Campus—where we were always insulted if someone asked if we had been students there—where our common history all began. Even after the move to Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University still maintains its ties, involvements and support of the Original Campus (as it is called now).
I am proud to say that I am actively part of the strong connection between the old and new. I am currently President of the Wake Forest College Birthplace Society Board of Directors (a mouthful for sure—and it is not a baby hospital!) in the Town of Wake Forest where we have 4 acres of the original 1834 plantation with the original Calvin Jones House on the National Register (original WFC building) and the Wake Forest Historical Museum that exhibits and supports the history of WFC from 1834 up to the 1956 move to Winston-Salem. This experience is truly one that is very important to me as we offer experiences to educate Wake alums and local citizens about our history of Mother So Dear. As you might guess, I am rather passionate about this segment. I invite all of you to come visit and see where our common history began!
The main priority of each of these segments has put my family first, and that focus became even stronger in 1974 with the birth of our daughter, Josie (WFU ’96), and in 1977 with the birth of our son, Martin (WFU ’99). As fourth-generation Demon Deacons, they hope their 4 children will make us a 5-generation family.
Where am I now on this multi-segment journey? Well, Jerry and I reluctantly call ourselves retired even though I am not sure exactly what that means.
But it has given us our next and current adventure of moving to Winston-Salem. We have just closed on a house not far from the campus and see ourselves as “coming back home” by closing the 360-degree circle.
And just like that day in September 1965, in the basement of Johnson, I find myself standing there wondering where our furniture will go and how to possibly decorate the rooms. Thankfully, the walls are not institution green or cinder block.
I continue to be thankful for my Wake Forest education, friendships and memories, and I am excited to take on the Golden Deac years of our shared journey.
Susan Harward Barwell
My first two years at Wake were made up of idyllic-wonderful friends, great classes, and memorable professors. It was safe and secure – some interesting rules and regulations from today’s perspective – but safe nonetheless. And then I decided to take a leap and study abroad, which was not the “norm” then. As a French major, Dr. Parker encouraged me to spend 6 weeks in Dijon, France. I chose instead to do a full year in Lyon. That year changed my life in so many ways. Aside from the wonderful family with whom I lived and connected as family for four generations now, it was a transformative year politically in France with the 1967-68 Revolution in France and unrest in the U.S. Since Political Science was my minor, what could have been better? Returning to Wake after that experience, I was no longer the naive young girl who had taken that leap across the pond. Seeing the world became my focus, and Dr. Mac Bryan encouraged me in that direction. So I became a Pan American flight attendant, literally traveling the world. I met my husband in Sydney, Australia and quickly (8 days together) decided to quit flying and move to the Sydney area to get married. We lived in Australia for a year and then traveled through Asia on our way back to British Columbia, Canada, Richard’s home, where we remained for 26 years, actively involved in the community, serving as President of the Chamber of Commerce, running several successful Chiropractic practices, and racing cars. (Alfa Romeos and TR8-I was crew chief.)
We moved to Colorado to work with a Chiropractic Office Management group, and after 3 years started our own. This led to our development of Neurologically Based Chiropractic, and the NeuroInfiniti, a tool for offices, for which Richard has lectured all over the world, giving us a further opportunity for travel, often back for visits with the French family.
We lived in an RV for a year traveling the US and Canada, and finally settled back in my home of Cocoa Beach, Florida, where we continue to be avid RVers. The experience of travel and study abroad furthered my true education and I commend Wake for its many programs.
Linda Carter Brinson
I arrived on campus from nearby Madison, N.C., without a clear idea of what I wanted to do. I liked writing and was pretty good at English classes. My father was encouraging me to become a teacher, but I wasn’t sure that path was the right one. Then I wandered into Bynum Shaw’s introductory journalism class in the fall of sophomore year, and I was off on my life’s path.
At Bynum’s urging, I shyly presented myself at the Old Gold & Black office, where I was “hired” as a reporter. I wrote my first stories out in longhand and then copied them on the typewriter.
One thing led to another, and by senior year I was the editor of the OG&B and had two years of experience as a summer intern at the Greensboro newspaper. I had been well educated in journalism and in the liberal arts, and I also had been inspired to believe in the people’s right to know and to consider journalism a high calling that’s essential to the health of our democracy. I still believe that.
Wake Forest also taught me what may be the most important lesson: How to learn, how to be inquisitive, have an open mind and keep learning as long as you keep breathing.
Except for a couple of years in the early 1970s working on alumni publications at Wake Forest (with Julie Griffin working just down the hall), I’ve been in newspaper journalism ever since. Early on, Bynum helped me get a job where he’d worked for years, at The Sun in Baltimore. I became the assistant national editor and had the fun of working with our national bureau reporters during what now appears to have been the pinnacle of newspaper journalism, the Watergate era.
I married Lloyd Brinson, a Duke grad (sorry, Julie) in 1975, and we decided to return to North Carolina. We bought a farm in the backwoods of Stokes County, and I started commuting to work at the newspapers in Winston-Salem, first The Sentinel and, after it closed, at the Journal. From that vantage point, I was able to see the changes at Wake Forest and keep in touch with people such as Bynum, Russell Brantley, and Ed and Emily Wilson. After years as a reporter, columnist, feature writer, editor, and editorial writer, I became the Journal’s first woman editorial page editor. I stayed in that job until the end of 2008, when I grew weary of the downsizings and other changes in the industry.
Since then, I’ve been a free-lance writer and editor.
We moved to Bells Island in the Currituck Sound in northeastern North Carolina in 2017, and from my office here I write for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot and the Greensboro News & Record, among other publications.
I also did become a teacher, of sorts. I’ve taught journalism part-time – at Wake Forest for a while, and for eight years in Carolina’s journalism school (sorry, Julie).
Lloyd and I have two sons. Jim is a Wake Forest alum, class of 2000, and a biologist working out of Las Vegas. Sam graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and lives near us here on the island when he’s not off doing Navy things.
Thanks to Wake Forest, I’ve had an interesting and fun career, meeting lots of fascinating people, learning a lot, traveling widely and, I hope, doing a little good in the world.
In August fifty-four years ago, my Dad drove me down US 29 from the Washington, DC area for my freshman year at Wake Forest. I was coming to the school sight unseen chosen mainly because a Redskins quarterback Norman Snead and the golfer Arnold Palmer were frequently mentioned as having gone there. I came down a week before orientation to attend the pre-school interdenominational conference at Camp Hanes. That was where I had my first encounter with Ed Christman and would meet several other future friends and classmates.
I was a pre-dentistry student for all of one semester. An F in Dr. Seelbinders’s calculus class and a D in Dr. Olive’s biology class were all the indications I needed that the sciences were not where I belonged. My favorite class was band and by spring term I was a music major.
Dr. Huber turned out to be a mentor and major force in my time at Wake Forest. George Grove (later to join the Kingston Trio), Bob Murdoch, Kenneth Martin, and Sharon Dowd were among others pursuing that degree.
After Dr. Charles Smith and his wife Janet arrived to get me through a senior recital and secure a degree, I basically abandoned music as a career and somehow ended up in radio. I worked for WSJS and later WTQR in Winston-Salem which had by then become my hometown. I was privileged to work alongside Gene Overby on the Wake Forest Sports Network during the 1975-76 and 1976-77 seasons doing color commentary and later served a time as engineer and sideline reporter. I also continued to work with the swimming team where I had served as manager since my freshman year and administrative assistant coach to Leo Ellison after graduating.
After getting a Masters in Communication at UNCG (supposedly to make some extra money teaching), I ended up being a full-time faculty member there in the Broadcasting Cinema, most recently renamed, Media Studies Department. I have just finished my 27th year and hope to hang on for three more to hit 30.
Having moved to Greensboro in 1990, at least I’m still close enough to visit campus for the occasional alumni event or WFU Theatre events. (I was privileged to work with Dr. Wolfe and Dr. Tedford on musicals after my graduation). For a time before the Deacon Tower was built, I used to bring my Sportscasting class back for a game to let them try their hand at play-by-play sitting on the roof of the press box.
I am especially looking forward to this 50th Homecoming reunion and seeing classmates I haven’t seen in years.
I entered Wake Forest in the fall of 1965 as a music major because I felt called to ministry and the only two options I knew about for a female were music and youth. Wake Forest was a challenging and exciting experience for me and I enjoyed most of the classes I took (except calculus).
After several years of graduate school, I realized that I lacked the talent to be a professional musician, but found my place in ministry through a position at First Baptist Church of Winston-Salem doing neighborhood ministry among the poor. I earned an M.Div. from Southeastern Seminary before the fundamentalist takeover and a PhD in New Testament from Emory University.
I taught as a sabbatical fill-in at Wake Forest while writing my dissertation.
I taught New Testament and Greek at Lexington Theological Seminary from 1987 – 1999 and New Testament at Baylor University Department of Religion from 1999 – 2008. I served as an associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Decatur, GA from 2008 – 2015 and retired in 2015.
Now I assist as a volunteer at a bi-racial church start in Atlanta: Edgewood Church and do some volunteer work for Decatur Cooperative Ministry. Sorry to miss the reunion but I had already made plans before I knew the homecoming date.
John (Pete) Ellis
Through working with the 50th Reunion Committee I have enjoyed reconnecting at least briefly with many classmates, some of whom I have not talked to in 50 years. Most are doing well and enjoying good health and grandkids.
It is interesting to me that although we all were in the same place and time, we each have “different memories”. Many of the athlete’s memories revolve around their coaches and teammates, Others were shaped by ROTC and their subsequent military experience. Even more, were permanently influenced by professors and advisors.
Most of my memories are of the congenial and comfortable atmosphere Wake Forest provided. You felt like you were friends with everyone despite different affiliations. Damn good place to be in the mid-late 60’s! We are fortunate to have been a part of it.
Julie Davis Griffin
I consider myself very fortunate to have picked Wake Forest to attend college. It was the perfect match for me! I only applied to 3 schools – 3 very different schools – Auburn, Emory in Atlanta and Wake Forest. My criteria were good academics, pretty campus, major college sports and more boys than girls – I know, probably shouldn’t mention that last one! And how Emory figured in there with no sports, I’ll never know. Anyway, I visited Auburn and liked it then Wake Forest and I knew! It was love at first sight and it’s been love ever since! Here’s what I’ve been doing since . . .
My first job out of college was in Personnel at Integon Corporation in Winston-Salem and I was happy there. However, two years later Wake Forest came calling and offered me a job in the Alumni Office running the College Fund. Thank goodness they didn’t know that I probably would have worked for free! I learned so much about Wake Forest working for Bill Joyner, who lists Samuel Wait as a relative. I met many wonderful alumni through that job and they pretty much cemented my love for our Alma Mater and my desire to be involved with Wake Forest forever.
After 2 years, I moved to Charlottesville VA with my first husband and classmate, Mark Mason, for his residency where our marriage broke up and after 8 months of my working for UVA, I moved back to Winston-Salem and was hired in the Deacon Club. How perfect, as I love Wake Forest sports!, I married Cook Griffin, a 1965 alumnus, in 1975, and we moved to Charlotte, then Nashville and Chattanooga, TN with his jobs. In 1984, Wake Forest came calling again but this time for Cook who was hired by Athletic Director, Dr. Gene Hooks, as the Executive Director of the Deacon Club to raise money for athletic scholarships. And we were home!!
After a year I was hired as the part-time Varsity Club Director to plan events for and get former student-athletes back to Wake. I adored that job as I got to meet and know many of my heroes from the past! It was amazing to me how many former student-athletes from the old campus at Wake Forest, NC had never been to the “new” campus in Winston-Salem! I loved the opportunity to get them to reconnect with their teammates and Wake Forest and I loved developing relationships and friendships many of which are still strong today. Working part-time also gave me the chance to advise an incredible group of young women, my society at Wake, the Fideles who became Chi Omega. I wouldn’t take anything for that opportunity and the friendships that continue today.
In 2001, Athletic Director Ron Wellman offered me the opportunity to follow one of my heroes, Charlie “C.D.” Davis, as the CHAMPS Life Skills Coordinator and to go from working with former athletes to current student-athletes, in the areas of life skills, career planning, and community service. It was a humbling experience to be in the position to influence and hopefully help student-athletes grow and mature into well rounded successful adults prepared for life after college and sport. I loved this job, too, and our amazing, talented and unselfish student-athletes.
Cook and I have a wonderful son, Ryan, who is a 2000 Wake Forest alumnus and lives in Mt. Pleasant, SC with his wife Meredith (we adore her even though she is a Clemson fan – but at least she’s not a Tar Heel!) and our two grandchildren Lucy (7) and McLain (5) who are learning to cheer for both Clemson and Wake Forest. They are the reason I retired from Wake Forest in 2013 after 31 years – I wanted to be able to spend more time with them and be available on short notice. That has worked out great as we do spend a lot of time in the Charleston area.
I can’t believe it’s been 50 years since we graduated and that I’ve spent 35 years at Wake – 4 as a student and 31 in four different jobs on campus. I’ve been so fortunate to love my experience as a Wake Forest student and to be able to continue that love as an employee. I truly think I’ve had the best Wake Forest experience ever because I’ve gotten to know and work with hundreds of Wake Forest people at every level – students, faculty, staff, and alumni and you know what – there’s no greater group of people anywhere.
I am really looking forward to reconnecting with our classmates at our 50th reunion – I just can’t believe though that it’s been 50 years since our graduation under those beautiful Elms on our beloved Quad on June 9, 1969! Go Deacs!
Wake Forest has always been part of my life. As my father (class of 1936) and all four of his brothers were Wake grads, I grew up hearing stories of their days at the old campus, as well as attending most home football and home basketball games from a very early age. So, my decision to attend Wake was a natural evolution of a home where Wake Forest was truly revered.
Since coming to Wake in 1965 from Huntersville, NC, I have never really left. After our undergraduate years, I attended medical school here; after a year of internship at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, returned to complete my Internal Medicine Residency at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center; and then, practiced Internal Medicine in Winston-Salem for thirty-eight years.
During all those years, I was lucky to be involved with Wake in so many ways. Events on campus, football and basketball games, seeing other Winston-Salem Wake alumni–all have made for a great experience! Wake Forest has been a “constant and true” part of my entire life, and I am so grateful.
Glenda Buie Jones
While I attended Wake Forest for only the first two years of college, I am grateful that my Wake Forest friends still claim me as a member of the Class of 1969. That early departure from Wake was indicative of how my life would unfold in unplanned and unexpected ways.
I married a Marine pilot after my sophomore year and finished my undergraduate degree at the University of Hawaii while we were stationed on Oahu. I completed an MBA at a branch of Texas A&M University a few years later while were stationed in south Texas. Over the years I worked in accounting/finance roles for several large corporations, including Enron and Bank of America, and I retired in 2013 from Duke Energy.
My marriage lasted 21 years, and we had one child, a son. Being Brian’s mom, watching him grow, and being proud of him brought all the joy we know as parents. Losing him in an accident at the age of 23 was the greatest sorrow imaginable. But my life has mostly been one of blessings, and my time now is made enjoyable by traveling, spending time with family and friends, involvement in my church, and being active to be healthy.
A few years ago I saw a Dr. Seuss quote that spoke to me: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”. I feel that way especially about my time at Wake Forest. It provided a great environment to learn and to have fun, and most importantly I made life-long friends.
‘69 graduate; ‘69 married; 2 kids and 7 grandkids later; 48 years in public and private education as a teacher, counselor, athletic director, coach, principal, school director; retired and moved from DC to Nashville; living on a hill, relaxing and volunteering at various charitable events. Go Deacs!
Martha “Marty” Andrus Lamb
I often remember Harold Tedford, Ed Wilson, David Traviland, John Woodmansee, Margaret Crisp, Calvin Huber, John Earle, and Phillip Perricone from my Wake Forest days. Each affected in a favorable way who I am today. I was in the band room with my flute and in the gym when Calvin Huber took the rif from the Johnny Carson Tonight show gave it a faster beat, substituted the lyrics “Yeah, Yeah” with “Go, Deacs!”, and then we all learned how to play it. All still shout “Go, Deacs!” when the band regularly plays it at all the games. Who could have known THAT was a legacy making moment…
There were friendships, laughter, and tears those four years at Wake Forest…and oh so much growth. I majored in Sociology with minors in Speech and Psychology. While Dr. Perricone was very dismayed that I was considering Social Work rather than Sociology as a career, I proceeded after graduation to take my first “real” job (not counting the delightful part-time tour guide job at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Old Salem from which I can still show off my knowledge of Southern antiques) at the local Social Services Department for about $500 a month (seemed like a fortune at the time), proceeded after a few years to obtain my MSW at UNC, and never looked back. Gloria Martin, I still remember your slide presentation to my social work class, Maeda Galijnsky’s I think, on your group work with Ann Sanford at Project Outreach. I hope we can share stories at the reunion. Through my career I have acquired many stories, but also hold many confidences as well.
I married Bill Lamb (no, not the one from Charlotte, the one from Le Mars, Iowa) WFU class of 1970, and we went through graduate school together and on to many life adventures. We just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, and here’s the party, inclusive of the Not So Newly Wed Game http://cuccarchive.blogspot.com/2019/07/reception-for-bill-and-marty-lambs-50th.html. We had one fantastic son who is married and the proud parent of two sons. Bill has “retired” to being a volunteer executive director of a non-profit Friends of Residents in Long Term Care https://forltc.org/ (although he says he is handing over the reins to someone else in January) and to gardening and beekeeping. I have “retired” to teaching Restorative and Gentle Yoga and Pilates, to a part-time clinical social work practice often working with boomers, and to enjoying volunteering. Bill and I both went for a week at Chautauqua this summer where the theme was “The New Map of Life: How Longer Lives Are Changing the World”. We learned that 80 is the new 60. Well, yea!
After graduation from Wake, Gloria Howard and I married in Greensboro, NC on September 6, 1969. We moved to Chapel Hill, NC where I went to medical school, graduating in 1973. Gloria completed her Wake degree, graduating in 1970 after which she got her MSW at Chapel Hill and began work as a clinical social worker. We remained in Chapel Hill for me to undertake residency training to become an OBGYN; 14 months of that time was spent in Stockholm, Sweden at the Karolinska Hospital for a reproductive physiology WHO fellowship. From 1977-1979 we lived in Dallas for me to complete a subspecialty fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine, moving thereafter to the University of Michigan for a first faculty position. In 1981 we accepted a posting at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, becoming professor of OBGYN & MFM in 1990 until retirement at the end of 2014. We continue to live in Jackson, MS and I continue to teach, write and mentor at the medical center as professor emeritus. Highlights of my career include more than 700 scientific communications/publications, teaching, clinical practice, and other contributions to obstetric medicine. Highlights also include leadership stints as president of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (the SMFM) in 2001-2002 and the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) 2011-2012. It has been my good fortune to participate in the professional training of 45 maternal-fetal medicine subspecialists, 240 obstetrician-gynecology specialists, and several thousand medical students.
Gloria completed her Ph.D. at Tulane in 1999 and practiced more than 30 years as a marriage and family therapist until she retired also in 2014. She now serves on the Wake Forest University School of Divinity Board of Visitors. We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary this September. Our two children live in Winston-Salem, NC and Birmingham, AL—Brent and his wife, Reverend Katharine Humphreys Martin, never left Winston-Salem after he graduated from Wake in 1998 and Katharine graduated from Wake Divinity several years later. They are parents to Annabel and Rosalie. Brent works with Wake Forest University-Baptist Medical Center in the IT realm. Dr. Rachel Martin Butler (WFU 2001, doctorate in physical therapy from UAB) and her husband Dr. Sim Butler (faculty at the University of Alabama in Communications) met at Camp Rockmont during college years and now live in Birmingham with their two girls Meg and Celie.
Nancy Gravley and Kenneth Martin
Howler 1969 – Online page 231 “Perspectives: Seniors Assess the College Experience” – I strongly recommend that everyone read this article just in case like me, you did not read it during the excitement of graduating and moving on to life in general.
We have had an interesting journey but never lost sight of our goals. “Kenneth” Martin and I met at orientation. Heading for a minister of music career, he was looking for a piano major such as my roommate Mary Lynn Hager, but she had a serious boyfriend back home and pushed us together. By February 11th, we went to the campus movie “Spartacus” on our first official date in the theater of Tribble Hall and that was it.
We have already had our 50th Wedding Anniversary (12/20/1968). Friends will remember that we both had the Hong Kong Flu and shared it with friends and family and some of the WFU musicians who were to be in the wedding in High Point on a Friday evening. Kenneth was sick early in the week and on Monday of Christmas break I went to his dorm room to get him and the final load of clothes to take to our apartment. Out of nowhere the dorm matron showed up and told me that women were not allowed in the men’s dorm. I quickly explained and a good look at him convinced her that I should go ahead and take him away. He looked a lot better on Friday when he arrived in High Point while I was hanging by a thread and was sick all weekend. We considered ourselves lucky that we had not planned a honeymoon trip since he was supposed to conduct a Christmas Cantata which he had composed, copied, and collated in the rec room of Babcock dorm. Kenneth went to Immanuel Baptist Chapel (now Pfafftown Baptist Church) on Sunday but the Pastor (Rev. Jack Bracey, a WF graduate, who had performed our wedding), was also sick as were most of the choir. The cantata was presented in early February and greatly enjoyed by all.
Along the way Kenneth decided to be a New Testament Scholar like Dr. Charles Talbert instead of a musician and majored in Religion as did I. He never gave up his love of music and served as music director at three churches the following years at WFU. By graduation he was accepted at Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville. We went back to his home in the DC area for the summer as he could work with his father at an asphalt paving company where he had worked during high school and college summer breaks. I figured any graduate of WFU could pass the Civil Service Exam, and I got a job at the old Department of HEW.
In Nashville, we had a 6th floor campus apartment for married students and I worked as a receptionist at the School of Nursing. It was close to the Divinity School and we walked to work together. This job hailed back to high school days when I did the bulletins for my church on a mimeograph machine. They kept their student exams on the blue plastic masters between newspapers in a locked closet under the eves of the third floor. I was the only secretary who did not nearly faint when they needed to reprint an exam. A Xerox machine appeared while I still had the job. Progress wins.
Fifty years ago Kenneth began working on what became his first hobby – genealogy. In recent years we have learned that at least two of our Wake Forest classmates are also descended from the Martin family – Judy Lawson and James Nello Martin. Kenneth last year visited 98-year-old James Nello Martin Sr., yet another WFU alumnus, at his home in Virginia Beach VA.
In January 1971 Kenneth had realized that there were zero jobs in the theology field and was a bit burned-out so he dropped out of school and worked as a full-time audio-visual technician at the School of Nursing where I worked. That summer we returned to the DC area and lived in Clinton, MD with the Martins to get settled into jobs. Eight years later Kenneth had had five jobs and I had given birth to two daughters. We learned that Kenneth was not to be a salesman nor an asphalt paving company owner. He had been the part-time Director of Music at his home church Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church in DC as well as Chairman of the Deacons. He also did some part-time volunteer work for the District of Colombia Baptist Convention. He started as part-time Director of Music at Hillandale Baptist Church in Adelphi, MD and then full-time Director of Music and Education. While there they had a Lecture Series with professors from various schools and seminaries. Dr. Frank Stagg, a professor from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville KY, was very personable and inspiring and told Kenneth that he needed to go back to graduate school. The die was cast. Music finally wins out.
In spring 1979, Kenneth started working on his piano skills and reading music textbooks. He was known as the only student to have read the whole History of Western Music by Grout to prepare for the entrance exams at SBTS. He only had to take one makeup class because he did not have an undergraduate music degree. The Vanderbilt coursework qualified him to take upper-level theology classes. So at 32 years old, we moved to Louisville, KY. The five-year-old went to the campus Child Development Center for a year and the ten-week-old baby stayed with neighbors the first year until a space opened up for one-year-olds. Each daughter met a classmate from the Child Care Center when they got to Wake. We knew that we were back on track and the five years of hard work was satisfying. I was the Admissions Secretary and the telephone voice of Southern Seminary for many prospective students. Believe me, it was a full-time Christian job. Kenneth loved every moment of seminary and working on campus kept me involved (even chapel again).
Kenneth quickly found a music job at Ridgewood Baptist Church on the other side of Louisville and kept it all five years. I had some rules to keep myself from being overwhelmed. I did not take my kids to the grocery store — Saturday morning was my shopping time; I did not go to church on Sunday evening because there was absolutely nothing for the little girls to do. I went on Wednesday evening for adult choir and taught missions groups for kids as needed. Kenneth discovered his second hobby at this church. A tenor from his church choir planned canoe trips to fish in Canada at Lake Kishkutena. Kenneth went in 1981 and soon was leading his own trips, which now total 39.
In spring 1981 with a Master of Church Music degree in hand, Kenneth did not find the right job. I told him that if he wanted to do a doctorate, we needed to stay until he finished because I was not going to go to seminary a third time. He completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in December 1983. In July 1984, we stored our furniture and went back to Maryland to continue looking for a job. I worked part-time at the District of Columbia Baptist Convention where Kenneth’s mother was part-time bookkeeper. By 1985, Kenneth was the Interim Music Minister in two different churches in two states (MD and VA) at the same time.
In July 1985, a good job came through and we moved back to Kentucky to Campbellsville College, a Baptist school. Kenneth was a professor there for 21 years in Church Music, Voice, Choral Conducting and directing the auditioned touring choir. (And yes, our furniture was in KY waiting for us to move into a campus house.) Kenneth had 8:00 a.m. classes every semester and wrote a “term paper” every night for his classes. (It surely looked like graduate school to me.) The girls were in school and I had time to be a real faculty spouse, church, and community volunteer. I worked with Campbellsville College Women’s Club, the Inauguration Committee for a new college president, and the Central Kentucky Arts Series. I once made 32 dresses for Kenneth’s touring choir women to wear on their first European Tour in 1889. My daughters still cringe at the sight of a scrap of that pink cloth in my sewing box. It paid my way to go on the trip and probably caused carpal tunnel in both hands in the long run.
In 1994, I became the office manager for the School of Music where Kenneth taught, part-time at first and then full-time for a total of 10 years. It was fun to go in and develop the job and supervise work-study students, coordinate class schedules, type programs for recitals, and help students register. I must have been doing a good job since my husband and the Dean of the School of Music had no hesitation to go on two-week trips to teach master’s degree modules in Brazil six times. He still enjoys contact with international students on Facebook. He spent his 50th birthday flying 30 hours home from Siberia where he taught in a Baptist pastors school, one of three trips he made to Russia. Yes, he has a knack for languages. Other highlights of his career were serving as Chairman of the Faculty twice, taking his college/university choir on tour to Europe four times, developing a Masters curriculum in Church Music.
In 2007, the time came when a change of job was in order. Our daughter and her husband who were living in a condo in Alexandria, VA suggested that we buy a big house together in Northern Virginia so they would have room for their dogs and cat and an expected baby. Our other daughter was also living in the area as her husband was in the residency program at Fort Belvoir Army Hospital. The idea sounded good to us and we packed up our things and my mother, who had already lived with us for 5 years in Kentucky and became a four-generation family. We were here in VA for the births of our three granddaughters and one grandson. My mother, our last parent, died in 2014, and Kenneth’s sister Karen lives in our in-law suite now.
Kenneth was too young for full retirement so he sent out resumes and was contacted almost immediately for Director of Music at Fairfax Presbyterian Church. It seemed almost miraculous that they offered him the full-time job right away and he worked there for seven years directing Sanctuary Choir, Handbell Choir, and an Instrumental Ensemble for which he arranged the music to suit the varied ages and experience of the members. He retired in July 2014 after a serious heart and vascular ailment appeared.
We are members of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria VA, where Kenneth sings in the excellent Sanctuary Choir and is available to sub for the Director of Music on fairly short notice and has the colorful doctoral robe to wear in worship as well.
Sara Martin (’95) is the Chief Financial Officer for the Coast Guard Mutual Association, and husband Upshur Whittock (PENN) runs a non-profit that supplies English teachers for a Bilingual School in Honduras. Susie Martin Yancey (’01) is an Army wife in Williamsburg where Lt. Colonel Joe Yancey (’01) is Deputy Commander of the McDonald Army Medical Center at Joint Base Langley/Fort Eustis in Newport News.
Barbara Ellen Peterson
I have many fond memories of my years at Wake Forest — some outstanding professors and classes I loved, my roommate and hallmates who became life-long friends, and fraternity parties at Theta Chi. Though I was an English major, I loved biology and will always remember the fascinating lectures given by Dr. Amen and his notorious one question/essay final exams. At the time, I thought I wanted to become a newspaper journalist, so I remember my class with Dr. Shaw and some of the events on campus I was assigned to cover. Regrettably, I was not assigned to cover George Lincoln Rockwell, the American Nazi Commander, who came to speak in Wait Chapel, but I remember sitting in the balcony and seeing what took place below. The entire football team was sitting on the first two rows, and when Rockwell entered, one player, Robert Grant, stood up and unfurled an American flag which the team had hidden under the pew. Then the entire team stood up and marched out of the chapel in protest — to be followed by most of the people there. Rockwell was left without an audience. I remember feeling very proud to be an American — and a Deacon.
My favorite professor was Dr. Edwin Wilson. I had two courses with him — Romantic Poets, and Blake, Yeats, and Thomas. His love of literature inspired me to also love literature and to become a teacher. I majored in English, and when I graduated taught English, first in high school and then at the community college level. I earned my Master’s degree from Converse and my Doctorate in Twentieth Century British Literature from the University of South Carolina. My dissertation topic was on Yeats and Wyndham Lewis. In my Acknowledgements, I dedicated my dissertation to three people who had been an inspiration to me, one of whom was Dr. Wilson. I taught English for over thirty years at Isothermal Community College. While I enjoyed all the courses I taught, my favorite was British literature — Romantic through Modern– again, inspired by Dr. Wilson.
Since retirement, I have become a Master Gardener, done volunteer work in the public schools as a mentor, and taught an adult Sunday school class in my church. I have also traveled extensively, most recently to Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand. I spend a lot of time with my grandchildren — one who wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a veterinarian, and the other who hopes to play soccer in college and then professionally.
I left Wake Forest in 1969, but Wake Forest hasn’t left me. It is a special place, isn’t it?
About that “short” 50-year summary, hmmm…let’s see. Professionally, I taught and practiced marriage and family therapy most of those 50 years. Major events over the last 50 years include living in South Carolina (master’s degree), Georgia and Korea (Army), Florida (UF PhD), Texas (7 years teaching at University of Texas Commerce), Indiana (18 years teaching at Purdue), and Virginia (18 years as a professor and administrator at Virginia Tech), and still live in Blacksburg, VA. I also did a fair amount of work internationally, mostly in Indonesia. Now, I’m a consultant with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime in Vienna, Austria. I’m working on a UN project to bring evidence-based family therapy for drug-using youth and their families to low-income countries, which will take me to Indonesia again next month.
About three years ago, I married Susan McCartney Piercy, who administered international scholar programs at Virginia Tech until we both retired from VT in 2017. We are a lot alike. We both enjoy friends, family, exercise, reading, dancing, gardening, each other, and traveling, particularly to see daughter Adriane (an architect), who lives with husband Matt in London.
I was married to Susan Kinsey Piercy (Wake Forest Class of 1970) until she died in 2015 after a long illness. We had two boys, David (a banker) and Stephen (a computer programmer), and their families have produced five beautiful grandchildren.
Life is good. I’m happier than I have ever been, living life well, and my looks haven’t changed a bit (in my mind, that is).
Within THE year of football memories under Coach Stoll, the Deacons beat the Heels at home in an exciting game, among many that year. Upon leaving the game with then girlfriend Jodi, in the parking lot I yelled ” I love you, Carolina! “…then turned to Jodi and for the first time, said ” I love you too! “….Now, after 48 years of wonderful togetherness, wife Jodi and I remember that game fondly. So we have one reason to like Carolina (sorry, Julie ), BUT only one! Go Deacs!
Betsy Smith Randall
Best Homecoming entertainment: Four Tops our freshmen year
Most enjoyable Chapel program: Having the WSSU cheerleaders teaching us how to cheer
Best sports trivia: Beating Carolina in football all four years
Biggest sports disappointment: Learning that Bones McKinney retired and would no longer be our basketball coach
Best memory of all: Meeting Jay Randall on the second day of Freshmen Orientation and marrying him 4 years later on July 26, 1969. My college roommate, Harriet Farthing Worley, introduced Jay to me as he was in her orientation group.
I am proud to have been an athlete at Wake Forest as the first black athletes arrived. The quality of these athletes’ character and athletic talent changed the nature of Wake athletics as well as the ACC and the NCAA. These following athletes stand out: Bob Grant, Butch Henry and Jimmy Johnson in football. In basketball, we had Norwood Todman, Charlie Davis, and Gil McGregor.
In the many significant social changes made during the ’60s, I am proud that Wake Forest set a strong foundation as a leader in the acceptance of black athletes in North Carolina as well as across the country.
On a lighter note: Jerry Montgomery and I took our dissected lab cat on the bus when we played South Carolina in basketball as we were preparing for Dr. Allen’s anatomy lab quiz. We were also kicked out of basketball practice as earlier we had skinned this cat. Coach kicked us out because we smelled bad and could not catch the ball since our hands were numb. Our senior year in basketball, the team went 18-9 after a 5-21 start the year earlier.
Something that Betsy and I are very proud of is that we have attended every Wake Forest football bowl game starting with the Tangerine Bowl in 1979. We also attended the ACC Football Championship game in Jacksonville and an ACC Baseball Championship game against UNC. A very special Thanksgiving gift to our children and grandchildren was going to see Wake play in the Maui Basketball Tournament where we beat Indiana and UCLA.
Margaret Tobey Taliaferro
At Wake Forest, I learned culture both with a capital C and with a lower-case c from both inside and outside the classroom. For example, I remember Dr. Robinson’s slide and record shows (aka Spectacles Son et Lumieres) for French majors, Arthur Rubinstein’s performance in Wait Chapel, the Four Tops’ Concert at Homecoming, 8 a.m. Saturday philosophy classes, and meals in off-the-wall restaurants around town.
In August 1969 when David and I married and moved together to Charlottesville where he attended graduate school at UVA, we were introduced to Mr. Jefferson’s academical village and his mountaintop home. Two years later, David received his master’s, and we headed to Germany for a three-year army commitment. During those years we traveled often, but going to France, in particular, enabled me to “use” my French. In fact, our lives were immeasurably enriched by taking this Grand Tour, by becoming friends with other American military families from many parts of the US, and by crossing paths with citizens of European countries.
We returned to the US in June 1975 with our two young sons, the older of whom had been born our second year at UVA and the younger in Nurnberg where we were stationed. At this point, I became acquainted with agribusiness–cash grains and costly planting and harvesting equipment–because David had decided to join his two older brothers on the family farm in Tidewater Virginia. Although I was reluctant to become a farm wife, I suppose my childhood spent living in three different states, my years at Wake and UVA, and David’s posting to Germany had taught me to adapt to and learn from yet another new home–this time beside the Rappahannock River.
Over the ensuing years, I earned a master’s in English, taught first French and then English to both American and international students, raised our sons with David by my side, doted on six grandchildren, traveled both in the States and abroad, and have become active in endeavors about which I feel passionate.
These fifty years have not always been easy, what with David’s diagnosis of and cure from lymphoma in 2011 and 2012, the deaths of our parents, off and on years of drought and spells of presidents using farmers and their commodities as political bargaining chips, and major house damage from Hurricanes Isabel and Irene. Yet, we have learned from such hard times and can look back on our years together–including the three years we dated at Wake–with appreciation.
Every day we gain knowledge from myriad sources–the media, books, our grandkids, Mother Nature–and credit our curiosity to the places, the opportunities, and people we have encountered along the way. Even when the intervening years have dimmed specific memories of Wake and Winston-Salem, those four seminal years are indelibly imprinted on our hearts and minds.
I came to Wake Forest as the first in my entire extended family to go to college. Wake Forest opened the world for me. Although I was a psych major, I received a truly liberal education that Wake Forest is known for. As for professors I remember, I can’t include them all. Alonzo Kenion reciting Chaucer in Middle English, David Broyles in political science which was more political philosophy, starting with Plato, through Machiavelli, and on to Marx. Outside the classroom, there was the time that some (yet to be named Deacs) went to Chapel Hill and stole their Ramses, and we beat them in football. The madness in the coliseum during basketball games. Good buddies over some brew at the Tavern on the Green. Spending the day with Timothy Leary when he came to speak. As I recall, he was barefoot and cut his foot on a soft drink pop tab and I helped him limp to the infirmary where he got, in his own words, “some good drugs.”
When I was a senior I was dating my future ex-wife who was a sophomore at Greensboro College, so I stayed at Wake two more years getting my master’s in psych. During that time I would say that Dave Hills was my mentor. He had a great sense of humor, was a good cartoonist, and as a clinical psychologist became something of a role model for me. I would go back to Winston-Salem almost every year to visit with him until his recent death, and I could see the changes in the campus. It was still small enough that if you spent four (or six) years there, if you didn’t know everyone, you at least knew who they were.
I moved to Cincinnati where I got my Ph.D. in clinical psych. The academics at UC were no problem. I felt as if I’d been shot out of an “academic cannon” coming from Wake Forest. I got a lot of good clinical experience at UC at Children’s Hospital, the campus counseling center, and at a rural mental health clinic. I accepted a position in the counseling center at Virginia Tech in 1974 and have lived in Blacksburg ever since. I retired from Virginia Tech in 2002, and have had the opportunity to do a variety of work, Lest working with college students has spoiled me, I’ve worked with disabled coal miners, served as a disaster mental health volunteer for the American Red Cross, provided pro bono counseling for people in the community, and have been an expert witness for judges who conduct disability appeals hearings. All the time I’ve been an avid reader of fiction, history, and biographies.
My wife Pam and I live in the woods just outside Blacksburg amongst the critters. Although I’ve been a great Virginia Tech Hokie football fan, it looks like this year I’m a fan of the 5-0 Deacs!!
James S. Warren
Upon Graduation in June 1969, I went into the United States Army and briefly stayed at Fort Gordon, Georgia and Fort Meade, Maryland before going on a one-year all-expenses-paid trip to the other side of the planet.
Three years of Law School and then back to my home town, Wake Forest. I have practiced law since that time. Carol and I have three children, six grandchildren, one dog, one cat, and three chickens.
I spend much of my time supporting the local high school, working with the Chamber of Commerce, and helping the Boys & Girls Club.
Also, I am a big supporter of the Wake Forest College Birthplace Society which has the original building where the college started, a nice museum and a four-acre campus. Come for a visit!
I am fortunate enough to return to Winston-Salem several times a year. Looking forward to seeing many old friends at MOTHER SO DEAR.
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