Wake Forest History In Photographs

Wake Forest has a rich past. It is filled with both difficult truths and academic, scientific and athletic triumphs. The university has also often been a microcosm of socio-political change on a national scale. Below are photos that capture the arc of history on Wake Forest’s campus.

1836: The original endowment for Wake Forest includes the sale of enslaved persons.
June 1839: First class of graduates received their diplomas from Wake Forest College.
1906: Wake Forest plays its first basketball game, defeating Trinity College (now Duke).
1923: OGB sports writer coins “Demon Deacons” for the football team’s “devilish play.”
1942: With many men preparing for war, Wake Forest admits 47 female undergraduates.
1945: The S.S. Wake Forest Victory, a cargo ship, is placed into service during World War II.
1950: President Harry Truman breaks ground for the library at the Winston-Salem campus.
1960: Ten Wake Forest students protest segregation at the Woolworth’s in Winston-Salem.
1986: North Carolina Baptists vote overwhelmingly to break ties with Wake Forest.
1988: Presidential candidates George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis debate in Wait Chapel.
1993: University Senate votes to include sexual orientation in the non-discrimination clause.
2016: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama campaign at LJVM Coliseum.

Did you know…

When Wake Forest was founded in 1834, students at the Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute were required to perform three hours of labor a day. They were also required to bring their own axe and hoe.

Wake Forest closed briefly during the Civil War when conscription to the Confederate Army made all but five students eligible for the military.

When the new library opened at the Reynolda Campus, it took nine moving vans packed with 4,500 boxes of books to transfer the collection from the original campus.

Dancing was banned on campus by the Baptist State Convention until the Board of Trustees passed a resolution allowing it in 1957.

Unrestricted visitation between the sexes in residence halls was not allowed until 1984.