Wake Forest University Apologizes for its Historical Ties to Slavery

During remarks at Wake Forest University’s annual Founder’s Day celebration, Nathan O. Hatch, the president of the university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, made an official apology for the educational institution’s ties to slavery.

In his remarks, President Hatch said that “I apologize for the exploitation and use of enslaved people – both those known and unknown – who helped create and build this university through no choice of their own. I apologize that our founders did not recognize and support the humanity and intrinsic value of those they enslaved. And I profoundly regret that subsequent generations of this University did not affirm the humanity of the enslaved individuals who made our existence possible.”

The university was founded on the grounds of an old plantation near Raleigh in 1834 before moving to its current location in 1956. In 1836, the estate of John Blount, which included land and enslaved Black people was donated to the school. In 1860, 14 enslaved humans were auctioned for a total of $10,718 that added to the university’s endowment.

Tim Pyatt, dean of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at the university, has stated that “we’re no longer on the original campus that was a plantation, but we wouldn’t be the institution we are now without the start we got in eastern North Carolina.”

Wake Forest University admitted its first Black student in 1962. Today, African Americans make up 6 percent of the undergraduate student body according to the latest data supplied to the U.S. Department of Education. African Americans are 8 percent of this year’s entering class.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Johns Hopkins University Launches New Major and Center for Critical Study of Racism, Immigration, and Colonialism

The new Chloe Center for the Critical Study of Racism, Immigration, and Colonialism will provide research opportunities and educational events for the Johns Hopkins University community. As part of the new program, the university has announced a new undergraduate major in critical diaspora studies.

Chicago Library Receives $2 Million to Digitize Collection of African American History and Literature

The Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection housed within the Chicago Public Library will soon be available online to the public thanks to a $2 million grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Online Articles That May Be of Interest to JBHE Readers

Each week, JBHE will provide links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. Here are this week’s selections.

Recent Books of Interest to African American Scholars

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education regularly publishes a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. The books included are on a wide variety of subjects and present many different points of view.

Featured Jobs