WFU preparing for Nathan Hatch's inauguration as 13th Wake Forest president

By Kevin Cox
Aug. 19, 2005

Wake Forest University is preparing for a week of events in October celebrating the inauguration of Nathan O. Hatch as the university's 13th president.

Hatch, previously provost at the University of Notre Dame, took office as president July 1, after being elected by Wake Forest's board of trustees last January.

President Nathan O. Hatch

October will mark the first time in 22 years that Wake Forest has installed a new president. Thomas K. Hearn Jr. retired June 30 after serving since 1983 as president.

Hatch will be installed as president Oct. 20 in a ceremony in the university's Wait Chapel. Organizers expect the chapel's approximately 2,200 seats to be filled with invited guests, including Wake Forest faculty, representatives of other colleges and universities, government officials, members of the university's board of trustees and volunteer boards, community leaders, student and administrative staff representatives, and others.

Wake Forest will set up closed-circuit viewing locations for the installation ceremony to accommodate those unable to be seated in the chapel. Details of the closed-circuit locations will be announced closer to inauguration week.

L. Glenn Orr Jr., chairman of Wake Forest's trustees, will install Hatch as president in a ceremony that will include formal greetings from representatives of other institutions, learned societies, students, faculty, and political bodies. North Carolina first lady Mary Pipines Easley and Sen. Richard Burr, both Wake Forest alumni, will be among the participants in the ceremony. Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines will also participate.

Following the installation, a reception outside the chapel on Hearn Plaza will be held for invited guests and all members of the university community.

Inauguration week activities begin Oct. 18 at Union Baptist Church on Trade Street with a private prayer breakfast hosted by the Wake Forest Divinity School and the University's Office of the Chaplain. Religious leaders throughout Forsyth County will receive invitations to the prayer breakfast. The event will feature remarks by Hatch and Bill J. Leonard, dean of the Wake Forest Divinity School.

On Oct. 19, two events open to the public will be held in Brendle Recital Hall, located in Scales Fine Arts Center. A symposium at 10 a.m. will be titled "Why the Liberal Arts? Exploring the Aims of a University Education." Stanley N. Katz, a world-renowned historian and lecturer at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, will moderate the symposium.

A symposium at 2 p.m. will be titled "The Moral Challenges of Professional Life." Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne Jr. will moderate the event.

Students are planning an inaugural ball for Oct. 21 at Joel Coliseum for faculty, staff, students, alumni and special guests. The ball is being held at the start of the university's annual President's Weekend.

Throughout the week, a number of other activities will be taking place, including exhibits, open houses, and tours conducted by faculty/student teams.

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