Today marks the 1,000th entry in the Daily Deac blog.  It has been a blessing to be able to write this blog every day, and I am grateful to everyone who reads it.  I cherish your emails and your feedback and am thrilled whenever I meet one of you on campus or in my travels.

1,000 seems like a momentous thing.  A milestone.  And I struggled to think of what might be worthy of a 1,000th post.

And in the end, the answer was really simple.

It has to be Ed Wilson (’43), our Provost Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of English.

If Wake Forest was Hogwarts of Harry Potter fame, Ed Wilson would be Dumbledore, the venerable, loveable, wise man who helped shape the face of the institution for good.  If Wake Forest had an equivalent to the Hogwartian Order of the Phoenix, Ed would be at the top of it – defender and preserver of the founding ideals that gave shape to what is best about Wake Forest.

When I was an impressionable senior, in 1992, Ed Wilson gave the Founder’s Day Convocation speech in Wait Chapel.  Like many students, I hadn’t gone to many convocations.  But as spring of my senior year rolled in and I was fretting about graduation and having to leave Mother So Dear, I began to try to pack in every moment of Wake Forestness I could.

So I went to convocation, and Ed gave an amazing speech.  All of his speeches are amazing, mind you, but this one spoke to me especially.  He talked about the history of Wake Forest, and some of its founders, and what makes us unique among institutions of higher education.  And he ends on a beautiful, beautiful quote from a favorite book from many of our childhoods.

There are so many nuggets of goodness in this speech.  And as I listen to it at my desk now, 22 years later, the Wake Forest he talks about is still the Wake Forest I see every day.   “A marriage of goodness and intelligence,” he said.

You can listen to his speech online.  And I hope you do.

betsy and edMany thanks to Ed Wilson for being the best voice of Wake Forest in my generation, and so many others.   And again, thanks to all of you for reading the Daily Deac and allowing me to keep doing one of the very happiest parts of my job every day!




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