On April 27, 1962, the Board of Trustees demonstrated remarkable courage in voting to end racial segregation at Wake Forest, which became the South’s first major private university to integrate. A Ghana native, Ed Reynolds, became the first full-time black student to enroll in the fall of 1962.
Fifty years later, those actions serve as a catalyst for the university’s evolving support of racial and ethnic diversity, religious pluralism, service to those with disabilities, acceptance of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and first-generation college students, among other matters related to diversity and inclusion.
This academic year, Wake Forest will commemorate the 50th anniversary of integration with the Faces of Courage celebration, honoring the legacy and important actions of all those – past and present — contributing to the diverse and vibrant campus community.
Throughout this site, learn about the important events we have planned to celebrate; our cultural history and our current commitment to building an ever more inclusive Wake Forest.
- Video: Ed Reynolds
As Wake Forest’s first black graduate, Ed Reynolds (’64) understands in more ways than one the importance of courage. Listen to his thoughtful reflection of what courage means to him.
- Video: Jamie Dean
- Video: Martin Luther King speech
- Audio: Deanna Margius
- Videos: Gary Lowman (’02, JD ’07) and Brock McCormack (JD ’07)
- Photos: American Indian Celebration
- Video: Impetus to Desegregate
- Coverage: Ed Reynolds returns to WFU
- Video/Photos: World Cultural Festival
- Coverage: Melissa Harris-Perry
- Video: J. Glenn Blackburn (’63)
- Audio: David Matthews
- See our photo galleries
Relive past events with our photo galleries on Flickr!
- Contribute to the memories
You can help Wake Forest document the evolution of diversity and inclusion at the university by sharing your story or memorabilia.
- Support diversity at WFU
Help us remain innovative and courageous in our commitment to develop an inclusive campus community of learners where cultural understanding and fluency in intercultural communication remain integral.