Wake Forest trustees honor president with Thomas K. Hearn Jr. Plaza
By Kevin Cox
The broad green lawn at Wake Forest University that stretches from Wait Chapel to the administration building is now officially called Thomas K. Hearn Jr. Plaza, in honor of the university's retiring president.
Approved by the university's board of trustees, the new name was announced at a formal retirement dinner April 15 hosted by the trustees for Hearn and his wife, Laura. He is retiring June 30 after serving 22 years as president.
"The beautiful area between Wait Chapel and Reynolda Hall is known semi-officially as the University Plaza but more affectionately simply as the Quad," Murray C. Greason Jr., chairman of the board, announced.
Located at the center of the campus, the plaza is the university's most popular and frequently visited location, surrounded by residence halls, university stores, a post office and a bank. Since the university's move nearly 50 years ago from the town of Wake Forest to Winston-Salem, the plaza has also served as a picturesque backdrop for each spring's commencement activities.
"It is the place where thousands of Wake Forest alumni have received and will receive their diplomas," Greason said. "It is the place that is indeed the heart of the campus. The Quad from this day forward will have a new name, the Thomas K. Hearn Jr. Plaza."
Hearn will participate in his last commencement as president on May 16.