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WFU Names First Members to New Divinity School Board

By Wayne Thompson
(336) 758-5237
March 31, 1998

Wake Forest University has appointed 14 men and women to serve on the first board of visitors for its new divinity school, scheduled to open in fall 1999.

"We are glad to have people of their caliber on the board providing key leadership as we build toward the fall 1999 opening of a divinity school that will be Christian by tradition, ecumenical in outlook and Baptist in heritage," said Bill J. Leonard, the school's dean. "We greatly appreciate their willingness to serve and to share their talents in providing the best theological education possible to our students."

Each member will serve a four-year year term on the new board.

The new members are: Dr. Elms L. Allen, an oncologist at Piedmont Hematology in Winston-Salem; Jerry H. Baker, an executive search consultant in Atlanta; Dr. George C. Barrett, a retired radiologist at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte; Linwood L. Davis, an attorney at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice of Winston-Salem; A. Hugh Greene, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Baptist/St. Vincent's Health System in Jacksonville, Fla.; Suzanne McElwain, chief chaplain at the Luther Lockett Correctional Complex in Louisville, Ky.; and Dannetta K. Thornton Owens, chief executive officer and president of Kennon Family Investments and Properties in Birmingham, Ala.

Other new board members are: R.G. Puckett, editor of the Biblical Recorder in Raleigh; Ann Quattlebaum, a family therapist in Greenville, S.C.; Ann B. Sherer, resident bishop of the Missouri East and Missouri West Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church; Edward K. Turner, president of Don Richard Associates of Charlotte; C. Ed Vick Jr., president of Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. in Raleigh; Barbara Dail Whiteman of Raleigh; and Rebecca Lee Wiggs, an attorney at Watkins & Eager in Jackson, Miss.

According to Leonard, the school will train students from a variety of denominational backgrounds using a curriculum that blends instruction in traditional seminary subjects with courses taught by the faculty from the university's undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. The school will offer the master of divinity degree.

Earlier this year, the Henry R. Luce Foundation Inc. of New York awarded the school $150,000 for developing the multidisciplinary courses required to prepare graduates for America's changing congregations.

Leonard expects the school to open with five faculty and 35 students, building to 135 to 150 students within three years. The school's first faculty members will be announced later this spring.

To date, Wake Forest has raised more than $10 million in contributions or pledges toward a $15 million goal and completed the first phase of renovations in Wingate Hall - the site of the new school. That work will be completed this summer.

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