Wake Forest will name roads in honor of four pioneering teachers

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To select the recipients, the University embarked on a pilot honorary nomination process that has been underway for several months.

Last spring, Wente convened the Ad Hoc Administrative Honors Committee to recommend new names for four roads on campus, including two sections of road originally named for Washington Manly Wingate. Wingate (1828-1879) was the fourth president of Wake Forest College in two terms cut in half by the Civil War. He also participated—both personally and on behalf of the College—in the ownership and sale of enslaved African Americans.

Wente named vice president and diversity director José Villalba and former provost Rogan Kersh to lead the committee. The group gathered feedback from the Wake Forest community and conducted extensive research in partnership with the University Archives and the Wake Forest Historical Museum to identify and recommend Wake Forest people to honor. With support from the President and the Board’s Administrative Committee, the committee’s preliminary recommendation was discussed confidentially with key constituent groups, including the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, student government leaders undergraduate, the AWFUBA alumni council and leadership, and the Reynolda firm. This feedback informed the Committee’s final recommendation, which was endorsed by the President and supported by the Board.

The University has submitted application materials to the City of Winston-Salem as part of the official road naming process. The Winston-Salem City Council is due to review the recommended name changes in August. With city approval, Wake Forest plans to install new signage in early fall and provide the community with the opportunity to learn more about each winner and their role in the history of the University. The street names were intentionally chosen to connect their campus location to the experiences and contributions of each winner.

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