A second group of Wake Foresters gathered over dinner in Wake Forest, North Carolina, on April 6, 2018, to discuss legacy.

We were surprised to realize the number of personal connections to the home in which we had our meal and conversations. From its very first day as the home of Wake Forest some 184 years ago to the present, so many individuals around our table had legacy stories from their families or their own experience and involvement. Even those who were new to the Calvin Jones House and “old Wake Forest” shared stories of their family connections.

As we talked about legacy, heritage, and tradition, some of the words that we heard repeatedly included preserving, sharing, remembering, saving, generations, family, stories, home, and indebted. Although we agreed that honoring and preserving our heritage is a worthy goal, we recognize its challenges and our varied approaches to achieving that goal. Acknowledging that a tension exists between the past, present, and future, we talked about the role each of us has in recognizing our heritage and our indebtedness to those who came before us. We then are faced with what we can or should do to preserve that legacy for those that follow.

Several at our table expressed gratitude for the University’s interest in preserving its heritage as embodied in the Calvin Jones House and the museum that tells the story of the University’s beginnings, development, and growth. Others spoke of such current endeavors as the Traditions Council, trek to the old campus, Deacon Camp, student and staff visits, and other activities. As alumni who attended Wake Forest here in the town that bears its name are no longer with us, it was emphasized how important it is to keep and enhance connections with WFU so that all on the Reynolda campus will learn and appreciate the legacy and history that began here.