Expanding the Narative

Renaming & memorial announcement

On May 7, 2021, Wake Forest announced action it is taking to come to terms with its antebellum heritage. Visit the May 7 announcement page to read President Hatch’s message, watch a video of the announcement, and hear from the co-chairs of the Advisory Committee on Naming.


Jose Villalba


Donna Edwards


On May 26, President Hatch announced that Wake Forest has decided to pause the implementation of its plan to rename Wingate Hall as May 7, 1860 Hall.

Vice President José Villalba and Trustee Donna Edwards (‘80) will chair an advisory committee focused on (1) clarifying the objectives in selecting a name for the former Wingate Hall; and (2) collecting and understanding our community’s concerns, reactions and suggestions regarding a new name.

On June 2: President Hatch announced the members of the committee.


Over the course of the last several years, the Wake Forest community has taken important steps to illuminate its history, address its present and reaffirm its commitments for the future. The work of the Slavery, Race and Memory Project as well as the efforts of the members of the President’s Commission on Race, Equity and Community have led our progress.

As part of this important work, President Nathan Hatch created the Advisory Committee on Naming in the summer of 2020 to examine how we identify, recognize and honor on the Reynolda Campus.

The Wake Forest community is working to learn and offer a more expansive and inclusive narrative about Wake Forest’s history. In this brief video, members of the Advisory Committee on Naming share their thoughts and perspectives on the charge they have been given and the work that lies ahead.

The work of the Advisory Committee on Naming is shared here, in addition to the members of the committee and how the entire community can be involved in the work that is ahead. It is the goal of this committee to help our community grapple with this element of Wake Forest’s history and work to make the University a more hospitable and welcoming place for everyone.

Thank you for joining the effort.

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Research subcommittees comprised of faculty were charged with conducting comprehensive research on several individuals connected to Wake Forest history.

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