One afternoon, between classes, I was sitting in the hall of the third floor of the Alumni Building on the old Wake Forest campus. I was probably day-dreaming. A member of the English department, Dr. Edgar Folk, came up the stairs and wandered over to talk with me.
He did not know me, but I knew him as the founder of the journalism program at Wake Forest and as the revered teacher of a course in Chaucer. I still don’t know why he introduced himself to me, but he wanted to know about me: where I was from, what I intended to major in (English), what my main interests were. He asked me if I “wrote.” I suppose I said, “a little.” He said, “Why don’t you come over to Pub Row and work for Old Gold and Black? It would be a good experience.” I agreed, and I turned up at the Old Gold and Black office the next day.
I was welcomed and began to receive assignments and write stories. In my junior and senior years, I wrote a weekly column. Mostly, it was about what Wake Forest means: a preparation for all the words I would later write about Wake Forest when I joined the faculty and, still later, the administration. And, incidentally, I took all of Dr. Folk’s journalism classes as well as his course in Chaucer.
Not only did Dr. Folk pave the way for my career as one who sometimes wrote. At the Old Gold and Black office, I met five other students who became my most treasured companions in college and my close friends through life. I owe to Dr. Folk and to these friends the experiences that led me to love Wake Forest and, when the time came in 1951, to return to Wake Forest and spend my life here.
How could I not be eternally grateful?
–Edwin G. Wilson
Winston-Salem, North Carolina