Nathan Hatch takes office July 1 as Wake Forest's 13th president
By Kevin Cox
Nathan O. Hatch takes office July 1 as the 13th president of Wake Forest University.
Hatch, most recently provost of the University of Notre Dame and one of the most influential scholars in the study of the history of religion in America, succeeds Thomas K. Hearn Jr., who retires June 30 after 22 years as president.
Following a 10-month national search, the Wake Forest Board of Trustees elected Hatch as president last January. The university's presidential search committee—comprised of trustees, faculty members, alumni and a student—unanimously recommended Hatch to the board of trustees.
A native of Columbia, S.C., Hatch will be inaugurated as president Oct. 20 in the university's Wait Chapel. Various activities are planned for the week of inauguration. Some events will be open to the public.
A Presbyterian, Hatch has spent nearly his entire career as a professor and administrator at Notre Dame, a Catholic university in South Bend, Ind. He joined Notre Dame's faculty in 1975 and rose through the ranks until his appointment in 1999 as Andrew V. Tackes Professor of History.
He held a number of administrative positions at Notre Dame, including the position of provost since 1996. As provost, Hatch was Notre Dame's second ranking officer, and at the direction of the president, exercised overall responsibility for the university's academic activities.
Regularly cited as one of the most influential scholars in the study of the history of religion in America, Hatch won national acclaim for his 1989 book, "The Democratization of American Christianity." It garnered three major prizes and was chosen in a survey of 2,000 historians and sociologists as one of the two most important books in the study of American religion. Hatch is also the author and editor of other books on religion, and he has written numerous articles on the subject.