1969 Classmate Updates

We would love to hear from everyone in the class regardless of whether you are able to come to the reunion or not. Take a minute and share with classmates your life’s journey since graduation. Include whatever you would like to share about family, career, Wake Forest memories, passions, and future plans. Please be sure to include your maiden name, if applicable, when listing your name.

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.

Frank Donaldson

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.

Wyn Godwin

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.

Len Preslar

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.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add your Story

Scroll to the bottom of the page to post your story, enter your name, email address and story then press the “Post Comment” button to submit. Each story will be be moderated and published once approved.

Please email cockeres@wfu.edu for assistance.

Visit the Homecoming website »