Remembering Dr. Thomas K. Hearn Jr.

Former Wake Forest University President Thomas K. Hearn Jr., who led Wake Forest from being a well-regarded regional college to one of the top national universities in the United States, died Aug. 18, 2008 at the age of 71.

Hearn, an Alabama native, served as Wake Forest’s 12th president from 1983 until his retirement in June 2005. In his long tenure, he presided over dramatic changes that brought Wake Forest unprecedented national esteem and recognition.

Alumni, friends and students shared their thoughts and memories of Hearn in this guestbook, which is preserved here as a memoriam.

Please note: This guestbook is closed for new entries.

Guestbook Entries:

August 18, 2008 – 04:30 PM
Dear Laura, Tom was a wonderful leader for Wake Forest and our community. He will be missed. My prayers for you and your family. Joyce
Joyce Comerford
August 18, 2008 – 04:34 PM

Laura

My prayers and sympathy to you and your family. Tom was a “giant” among his peers…and lead with his quick wit and that wonderful smile. My life was truly blessed by his friendship.
Love, Peaches

Peaches Gunter BLank
August 18, 2008 – 04:41 PM

Thoughts and prayers go out to Mrs. Hearn and the family.

It is tough each time the Deacon family loses a cherished person in its community. The loss is shared and felt by so many. While we may have lost a member of the Deacon family here on Earth, the “Forest of Wake” in heaven just got a little more special today!

Burns Family
August 18, 2008 – 04:47 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with the Hearn family. I thank Dr. Hearn so much for making Wake Forest what it is today!
Erin Ferrell
August 18, 2008 – 04:53 PM
Dr. Hearn was a remarkable man who helped to guide Wake Forest to where it is today. I send my condolences and prayers to the Hearn family at this time.
Christian Burris
August 18, 2008 – 04:59 PM
We were lucky to get to know Dr. Hearn more personally in the years since he moved his office to the ZSR Library. He was a dear friend to all of us and we will miss his shy humor at our staff functions.
Lynn Sutton
August 18, 2008 – 05:01 PM
It was my honor and privilege to have been a part of Wake Forest under Dr. Hearn’s tenture. He holds a very special place in my heart and I will always remember his kindness and his warm smile. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Donna Gant
August 18, 2008 – 05:06 PM
My prayers are with the family, many friends and colleagues of former President Hearn
Lizzie Wallace
August 18, 2008 – 05:09 PM
The national academic stature of our beloved University is, in large measure, due to the untiring efforts of Dr. Tom Hearn. His impact is unsurpassed in the long, proud history of the University. To Laura and the family, we offer our deepest condolences.
Vern Pike ’58
August 18, 2008 – 05:09 PM
I am very sorry to hear of Tom’s death. He was a friend to me. I regret, Laura, that I will be out of the state when his memorial service is held.
Paul Escott
August 18, 2008 – 05:12 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Beverly H. Savinsky ’97, ’02
August 18, 2008 – 05:16 PM

I was saddened by the news this afternoon. I remember fondly our “argument” in your office that day we debated over education through experience and education primarily through literature, and your resounding pleasure in pulling poetry books off your shelf and reading the poetry that you felt was representative of your ideas.

What I will remember is that you actually did this, and allowed me to visit you in your office because it seemed you were just as curious and just as ready for debate and dialogue as your students. Thank you for that. It’s a great memory to have and a great thing to push for when it comes to the education my children will seek.

Douglas Crets
August 18, 2008 – 05:17 PM
It was my honor to join Wake Forest while Dr. Hearn was President. He did so much for our University. I got to know him, not through academics, but at the WFU pool where he enjoyed to swim. He always had time for a chat. We will miss him a great deal.
Greg Cook
August 18, 2008 – 05:21 PM
May Tom rest in peace and splendor. My thoughts and prayers are with the Hearn family.
Michael J. Hyde
August 18, 2008 – 05:27 PM

Dr. Hearn, thank you for your incredible love for our school and all you did for Wake Forest. You will be dearly missed.

Jeremy and I send our sympathy and prayers to Ms. Hearn and the rest of your family. May God be with you all.

Betsy Chapman
August 18, 2008 – 05:27 PM
Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.
TLI
August 18, 2008 – 05:27 PM
It is with great sadness that I learned today of our loss of President Hearn. He earned his reputation as superb leader, a gentleman, scholar-teacher, and a man who’s good work for Wake Forest and the Triad community can not be equaled.
Charles L. Richman
August 18, 2008 – 05:30 PM
How sad. I regret that I will not be in Winston-Salem to attend the service on Friday. My thoughts and prayers are with the Hearn family and all fellow Wake Foresters.
David B. Levy, Professor of Music, WFU
August 18, 2008 – 05:33 PM
My thoughts are with the Hearn family. I appreciate Dr. Hearn’s leadership during my time at Wake.
Chris Irwin (B.A. 1996)
August 18, 2008 – 05:33 PM
Our thoughts and prayer go out to all of the family. It is a sad day that Wake Forest loses a leader like Tom Hearn.
Ben Aycock
August 18, 2008 – 05:35 PM

Dear Laura and family,

Tom invested in all of us as a community and in each of us as individuals at Wake Forest. I’ll always be in his debt for encouraging me with off-campus leadership training, and then for inviting me to his office to hear firsthand how it had gone. He really listened.

Somehow Tom Hearn was able to inhabit the presidency and also stand apart from it philosophically, pondering the meaning of it all.

He leaves us with a model of quiet, thoughtful academic servanthood.

God bless.

Susan Borwick
August 18, 2008 – 05:36 PM
It was my privilege and honor to know and experience the passion and commitment that Dr. Hearn had for Wake Forest. His Pro Humanitate spirit lives within the students he served during his tenure and will live forever on Hearn Plaza. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Hearn family and to the extended family of Wake Forest. We will miss him.
Patti Schnably Shields ’90 and Aidan Shields
August 18, 2008 – 05:44 PM
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hearn family. Dr. Hearn enhanced all of our lives through his dedication and many endeavors.
The Frank Family
Barry S. Frank
August 18, 2008 – 05:46 PM
My prayers & thoughts are with the Hearn family. Dr. Hearn will remain in the hearts of the Wake Forest family forever. I will always fondly remember his warmth and grace – he was a dedicated leader and true friend to all students.
Tina Schippers (Class of 97)
August 18, 2008 – 05:47 PM
Tom Hearn meant so much to my entire family. He supported the search for truth represented in the essence of academic freedom. He could be reserved, witty, direct and challenging. He became a friend. We wish you good rest, Tom. Thank you.
Jay Banks and Family
August 18, 2008 – 05:50 PM
Thomas Hearn was a great man and wonderful leader for Wake Forest. His wisdom and direction were invaluable to the university and he will be sorely missed. My deepest and heartfelt condolences to his family in this trying time.
Daniel Pickett
August 18, 2008 – 05:53 PM

What a tremendous loss for WFU and Winston-Salem. Dr. Hearn showed true grit and grace as he faced his toughest challenge of cancer. It was an honor to know him through the WFU family.

Peace,

Betty Early Dominick
August 18, 2008 – 05:54 PM

A great man who led a great University. A thinker who could express the complex simply. A leader who let others lead. A man who knew what it meant to be a man. A teacher that listened. An inspiration and an aspiration.

Rest gently, Tom Hearn, you did good.

Jay Dominick
August 18, 2008 – 06:03 PM

The McConnell family sends their thoughts and prayers to the Hearn family.

It was an honor and a pleasure to work for Wake Forest while Dr. Hearn was President.

God bless the Hearn Family.

David McConnell
August 18, 2008 – 06:09 PM
My prayers are with the Hearn family.
Dr, Hearn was a man of great vision and a born leader. He will be missed.
Tim Crater, ’89
August 18, 2008 – 06:09 PM
Our thoughts and prayers are with Laura and the rest of the Hearn family. Tom was a terrific leader. The Wake Forest community will remember him with fondness and gratitude. It was a privilege to know him on a personal level through our volunteer work with Wake. He will truly be missed.
The Stefany Family
August 18, 2008 – 06:13 PM

Wake Forest University would not be the nationally recognized school that it is today without the guidance of this man.

This is truly a sad day for the entire Wake Forest Family. My thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. Hearn’s family, friends, and the entire Wake family.

James Bobbitt
August 18, 2008 – 06:14 PM
RIP TK Hearn. Condolences to your family.
Yuniko
August 18, 2008 – 06:22 PM
Tom, you will be greatly missed. May God grant eternal rest to your soul and comfort to the entire Hearn family.
Simeon Ilesanmi
August 18, 2008 – 06:25 PM
My condolences to TK’s family. The Wake Forest community will miss him.
Brandon Tyler
August 18, 2008 – 06:30 PM
Dr Hearn was an incredibly dedicated leader and was admired throughout the Wake Forest community. It was an honor to have him at the helm of the school that I love for so long. My deepest condolences to the entire Hearn family.
Marla McClure (class of 1996)
August 18, 2008 – 06:32 PM
I am very grateful for what Thomas Hearn did for and with Wake Forest and I can only imagine the pain Laura and his family must feel at his loss.
Sharon Andrews
August 18, 2008 – 06:36 PM
I graduated in 1997, a year of tragedy for WFU. One of the defining moments of that year (and my life) was Dr. Hearn’s speech at graduation. In one anecdote I remember most vividly, he recounted a story about his freshman Shakespeare class. His professor made the comment that Shakespeare’s tragedies are superior to his comedies. When Dr. Hearn asked why, his professor paused and said, “Because life is more tragic than comic”…. How true. Still, life does have many happy moments, my time at Wake and my memories of Dr. Hearn certainly underscore that point. Dr. Hearn, You will be missed.
Arthur Ralston
August 18, 2008 – 07:01 PM
My son attended Wake during Dr. Hearn’s tenure and spoke highly of him on numerous occasions. We all owe Tom Hearn our gratitude for guiding our university to the status she enoys today. Our condolences are with the Hearn Family
Bill Parker
August 18, 2008 – 07:05 PM
When I arrived at Mother So Dear Dr. Hearn was the “new” president. His leadership effectively stamped his image on an institution loved by generations of my family – and we are all happy that he did. Our prayers and thanks for the Hearn family.
Jay Gentry
August 18, 2008 – 07:24 PM
My deepest regrets to Dr. Hearn’s family.
I admired and respected his leadership for Wake Forest.
Sincerely, Candelas Gala
Candelas Gala
August 18, 2008 – 07:37 PM
Phi Alpha Dr. Hearn.
James Gibbon
August 18, 2008 – 07:55 PM
What a true visionary Dr. Hearn was and what a loss for his family and his Wake Forest family! He will be missed!
Cathy C. Wells ’91
August 18, 2008 – 08:10 PM
What a sad day for Wake Forest. Thinking of Wake without Dr Hearn is like trying to think of the campus without Wait Chapel…impossible.
Bill Crippen ’93
August 18, 2008 – 08:20 PM
Dr. Hearn was a wonderful and influential man, not only for Wake Forest University, but for all who knew him. My condolences and prayers go to his wife and family. He will be greatly missed.
Marcie Bouley
August 18, 2008 – 08:26 PM
A great man, a great family and a great loss. We will miss him.
Ed Frackiewicz
August 18, 2008 – 08:27 PM
Thank you, Laura and the rest of the Hearn family, for giving Dr. Hearn to Wake Forest. He truly has been one of the giants in the history of the university. He was the driving force that moved it into the ranks of the nation’s top schools. His eloquence and profound thinking were always inspiring, and his love for our school was unsurpassed. RIP TKH.
Joel Miller ’70
August 18, 2008 – 08:31 PM
It makes me so sad to think of the tremendous loss that Wake Forest and the Hearn family are facing. Dr. Hearn always represented WFU in such a professional manner while still being very approachable to students. Thank you for allowing Wake Forest to borrow him for many years! He was truly loved!
Ashley (Peck) Van Wormer ’92
August 18, 2008 – 08:31 PM
I am very proud of Wake Forest and Dr. Hearn. What a great man. He will be missed.
Craig Current
August 18, 2008 – 08:42 PM
Wake Forest is the school and the environment it is in large part because of Dr. Hearn. What a blessing it is to know that his legacy will continue, even as he is missed by all of us who were touched personally by him. He was a true example of intellect and wisdom, humor and humanitarian, grace and resiliency. We are proud to have known him, and send prayers and thanks to his family.
Rachelle Kuramoto
August 18, 2008 – 08:46 PM
When Dr. Hearn’s appointment was announced, I was in a meeting where some of his colleagues from William and Mary were present. They told me how fortunate Wake Forest was in attracting a man of his abilities. Time definitely proved them to be correct. He was the right person in the right place at the right time. He will be missed, and he will be remembered with gratitude and fondness.
Rick Harvey
August 18, 2008 – 08:47 PM

Dear Mrs. Hearn,

Alan and I send our deepest sympathies to you and your family. PLease know that the whoel Wake Forest community grieves with you.

Laura Coverstone (MA ’92)
August 18, 2008 – 08:55 PM
“You have a magic carpet
That will whiz you through the air,
To Spain or Maine or Africa
If you just tell it where.
So will you let it take you
Where you’ve never been before,
Or will you buy some drapes to match
And use it On your Floor?”Dr. Hearn spoke this poem during Freshman Convocation in 2002 and I have always remembered it. Dr. Hearn, thank you for you guidance to students and this university for so many years.
John J. Champlin
August 18, 2008 – 09:02 PM
I was saddened by this news this afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all for the loss of this great leader.
Tommy Blackwelder ’88
August 18, 2008 – 09:03 PM
My deepest condolences to Mrs Heran a all Wake Forest Community
Teofilo Gomez, MBA 84
August 18, 2008 – 09:05 PM
I am a 1957 graduate of Wake Forest. Your loss is the loss of all who love Wake Forest. I appreciate all that Dr. Hearn did for my alma mater. May God comfort you during these days.
Sincerely, Miriam
Miriam Todd
August 18, 2008 – 09:10 PM
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hearn family. His guidance and leadership touched all who attended Wake Forest. He will be missed.
David and Cathy DuFault (’91 & ’90)
August 18, 2008 – 09:13 PM

Dr. Hearn was a scholar and a gentleman with a sense of humor. During a spring break trip to the Florida Keys in 1989, there was an airline strike. A few buddies and I jokingly (sort of) wrote to Dr. Hearn…we were looking to stay in the Keys until this was resolved and were looking for Dr. Hearn’s OK. When we returned (on time by the way, Dr. Hearn had written a response to our letter in the Old Gold and Black. He basically knew that we would be able to draw on our “exceptional” mental capacity to figure out how to get back an meet our academic resposibilities for the not too distant (exam) finals.

I am proud to be associated with Dr. Hearn as a Wake Forest graduate and I will always respect his courage to forge a balance between maintaining Wake Forest’s Baptist heritage and lifting the university into a sphere of of being a more enlightened(in my subjective opinion) and well-rounded “national/international” institution.

Dr. Hearn’s family is in our thoughts and prayers…a life well lived.

Howard Treichler
August 18, 2008 – 09:22 PM

Saint Mary’s School, Raleigh, NC, sends its deepest sympathy to Tom Hearn’s family, especially to our Laura, for this enormous loss in their lives and in the thousands of lives Tom touched with his wisdom and his vision. The world has lost a very good man.

Love,
Theo Coonrod
Head of School

Theo Coonrod
August 18, 2008 – 09:25 PM
Dr. Hearn’s warmth and conviction of character with WFU’s alumni and students, will always be remembered by the Eddins and Laughridge families.
Our sincere condolences to his family and all those he touched.
Digit Laughridge
August 18, 2008 – 09:26 PM
Dr. Hearn brought prestige and honor to Wake Forest. My prayers are with you at this difficult time.
Tony Kahn WFU ’76
August 18, 2008 – 09:28 PM
President Hearn was a defining figure in the landscape of Wake Forest University. We truly lost a legend today. God bless the Hearn family.
Lisa Snodgrass
August 18, 2008 – 09:30 PM

About 2 weeks ago I took my laptop into Z. Smith Reynolds to do some work. As I left the library and headed to the parking lot, I noticed Dr. Hearn heading for his car to leave for home. “Dr. Hearn!” He looked over at me with those austere, academic glasses of his as I bounded towards him. “I just wanted to tell you how much your leadership meant to me while I was a student here at WFU in the mid 90’s. I truly thank you.” Dr. Hearn smiled with a look of appreciation and respect. “I really appreciate that,” he said as I shook his hand and gripped it tightly. I knew what he meant, and he understood me as well.

When I think of Dear Old Wake Forest, I am reminded that our alma mater is a noble name because T. K. Hearn set the bar with a nobility of character and a professor-like presence that made me proud to be a Wake Forest student.

When one of the Wake community passes on, a little bit of ourselves pass along with him/her. My prayers for Mrs. Hearn are that she know how MUCH he was appreciated and that we students, current and graduated, stand in respectful silence to honor who I believe was a true leader, one who loved our university and embodied Pro Humanitate.

Thanks, Dr. Hearn for shaking my hand 2 weeks ago in the library parking lot. You deserved that hand-shake of thanks many times over. God bless you.

Will Watson, ’98
August 18, 2008 – 09:34 PM
Mr. Hearn was, by all accounts, a gentleman. While I only had a few opportunities to speak with him during my time at Wake Forest, the one thing that was profoundly obvious was how much he loved our school. He was a class act and I consider myself fortunate that my education – as well as the legacy of my school, was in such good hands. My sincere condolences to the Hearn family and to the Wake Forest community.
Greg Goodstein
August 18, 2008 – 09:39 PM
Mrs. Hearn, I graduated Wake in 1978 and Wake law in 1981. My oldest son just graduated this year. At homecoming the year prior to his starting Wake, my sister (also a Wake grad) and I were rambling around campus looking lost. A very considerate, polite, and thoughtful gentleman stopped to ask if he could assist us in any way. We politely declined and expressed our appreciation, only to realize shortly thereafter that he was in fact the President of the university. His unassuming manner was so very characteristic of him and his humility speaks for itself. My son has the upmost admiration and respect for him, as do so many. I grieve with you at this time, but more importantly, I pray for you. Our Lord will never forsake you, especially in this time. Please know how very much He loves you. God bless!
Nancy Corbett
August 18, 2008 – 09:43 PM
Thanks for all you do serving our great university
Pat Neary
August 18, 2008 – 09:51 PM
May his memory be eternal.
Stephen Kroustalis
August 18, 2008 – 10:01 PM
Although Dr. Hearn was not at the University when I attended from 1970-74, I sincerely appreciate his service and legacy to Wake Forest. I extend my genuine condolences to your family.
Anne Pentecost Considine
August 18, 2008 – 10:06 PM
Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. May you find strength in the companionship of those who share your loss.
Willie & Louise Davidson
August 18, 2008 – 10:15 PM
I will never forget the inspirational leadership Dr. Hearn showed in his efforts to lobby state legislators to strengthen anti-drunk driving laws following the tragic loss of Wake Forest sophomores at the hand of a drunk driver when I was an undergrad at Wake. Thank you, Dr. Hearn.
Emily Brewer, ’98, ’03
August 18, 2008 – 10:25 PM
Dr. Hearn was an accomplished and moving speaker. On top of this, he is the reason I decided to attend Wake Forest. He attended an accepted student event at the Dallas Country Club for less than 30 prospective students. After having spoken with Dr. Hearn, I knew if the President cared enough to recruit this small batch of students, that it must be a wonderful, worthwhile place. Thanks to Dr. Hearn, I was right on both counts.
Tom Kelly
August 18, 2008 – 10:31 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Hearn family this evening. How grateful I am for Dr. Tom Hearn’s years of leadership and service to Dear Old Wake Forest. May he rest in peace.
James Kemp class of 1952
August 18, 2008 – 10:51 PM

A man of vision, integrity, and passion who will be sorely missed by everyone in the Wake Forest family.

Philip “Flip” Perry
Class of 1975

Philip Perry
August 18, 2008 – 10:53 PM
We are deeply sadden over the death of Dr. Hearn. We believe that Wake Forest University lost a great leader and a positive reformer for the NCAA.
Jack and Shirley Webster
August 18, 2008 – 11:01 PM
I remember when I was the only Chinese student at Wake, Dr. Hearn was very kind to me. He even invited me to his home one time. We thank you for your leadership and you will be in our hearts forever. My prayers are with the Hearn family.
Daneil Nie (’84)
Daniel Nie
August 18, 2008 – 11:03 PM
Deeply saddened to learn of Dr. Hearn’s death. Please accept our profound sympaathy and know that Becky and I will hold the family in our prayers. The Wake Forest family has lost a valued member.
Jim Owen (Class of 1969)
August 18, 2008 – 11:07 PM
Dr. Hearn thank you for touching the hearts of each and every Wake Forest student to step foot on campus and make them feel a part of something special. Your legacy can never be replaced. You will truly be missed in our Wake Forest community. My toughts and prayers are with the Hearn family and all of Wake Forest.
Aimee Smith ‘o4
August 18, 2008 – 11:16 PM
We were so saddened to hear the news of Dr. Hearn’s passing. We appreciate his dedication to Wake Forest. Our thoughts are with his wife and family.
Isabel Newton and Geoff Abell
August 18, 2008 – 11:42 PM
Please accept our heartfelt condolences and prayers offered for the Hearn family and all of Wake Forest. Dr. Hearn was truly a visionary leader whose impact on the University will be felt for generations.
Joel and Shirene Gentry
August 19, 2008 – 01:03 AM
I had just graduated in 2003 when President Hearn was first diagnosed and I thought of him often and hoped that he was doing well in his recovery.
I was so sad to hear of his passing today.
Although I only knew him on a public level, I think that the strength of a leader depends on their character. I greatly admired President Hearn and the energy he tirelessly gave to the Wake Forest community.
I am so sorry for your profound loss.
Please know that I and so many other teachers, students, and community members are thinking of you and your family during this time.
Kate Lambert
August 19, 2008 – 01:51 AM
I had and still do have the deepest respect for Dr Hern. He had a common touch but yet was able to carry off a huge administrative job. He left those of us that he touched better off.
David Baird ’65
August 19, 2008 – 02:09 AM
I am saddened to hear of the passing of one of Wake’s great leaders. His presence at Wake was a big reason I applied in the first place; my mother is also a professor who has worked with him in the past and spoke very highly of him.
His influence will be felt for long to come and I hope that this provides some comfort to his family.
Tracey (Abbott) Reuter, class of ’97
Tracey Abbott Reuter
August 19, 2008 – 05:22 AM
I am deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Hearn, who was a most trusted friend. He was an amazing man with strong character. My thoughts and prayers are now with his family in this time of need.
Kelly Wilkinson, Executive Pastry Chef, WFU 2000-2007
August 19, 2008 – 06:25 AM
“His life was gentle, and in him the elements so mixed, that Nature might stand up and say for all the world to hear – This was a man.” – Shakespeare. Heartfelt sympathy.
Jeanne Sims Caldie, class of 1961
Jeanne Sims Caldie
August 19, 2008 – 07:07 AM
We as a Wake Forest family mourn this loss with you. Dr. Hearn was an amazing part of Wake Forest and his legacy will echo across campus forever.
Alex Snyder Garcia
August 19, 2008 – 07:16 AM
Along with all of the Wake Forest family, I am deeply saddened to hear of Dr. Hearn’s passing. He was a friend to the university, and served it well during some rather difficult times. I remember him as a thoughtful friend and great leader of the university, and will miss him greatly. Deepest condolences to Laura and his family.
Dr. Sarah Shoaf
August 19, 2008 – 07:21 AM
I’ll really miss Dr. Hearn. It always stuck with me that he sought me out for a one-on-one meeting in the fall of 2000 in the run-up to the Bush/Gore Presidential Debate being held on campus, how he was genuinely interested in listening to a single student talk about his concerns.
Andrew Whitacre
August 19, 2008 – 07:25 AM
Mrs. Hearn and family, I’m so sorry for your loss. I appreciate President Hearn’s leadership and service during my wonderful time at Wake.
Elizabeth Brill ’01
August 19, 2008 – 07:32 AM
His speach during Freshman Orientation gave me the peace I needed to leave my daughter in another state so far from home. I just knew she was in good hands. I am sorry to hear of his passing.
Cindy Kaser
August 19, 2008 – 07:50 AM
Dr. Hearn was a visionary leader who served our beloved University in fine fashion. The entire Wake family shares his loss. I offer my most sincere condolences to the Hearn family and friends.
Beth Taylor Sparks ’76
August 19, 2008 – 07:52 AM
I met Thomas Hearn in 1965, and from the very first moment I was impressed by his understanding of the human condition. Tom was a professor of philosophy at the College of William and Mary. I had just started as the Director of Education at a local church, and was struggling to make sense of many factors.
His good counsel and special friendship enabled me to see the many ways of serving humankind…especially outside the institutionlized church.
I celebrate Thomas Hearn and share my best thoughts with his family, especially Will with whom I worked at the NC Department of Commerce.
Peace, always,
John L. Whitley
August 19, 2008 – 08:12 AM
Mrs Hearn
I am sad to hear aboput your loss. My family is good friends of the Barrs, JoAnn and Jond were in the video clip of with you and your husband about the new treatment for brain cancer. John and his boys lost JoAnn a year ago this past spring.
John and JoAnn were given an estra couple of years from the treatment and she went in his arms.
Always remember Dr Hearn lives in your and your families hearts.
May the Lord bless and keep your family.
Sincerely
Stan
Stan Gordon
August 19, 2008 – 08:13 AM
Dr. Hearn represented Wake Forest with dignity and grace. His leadership lifted our University and made me even more proud to be a Demon Deacon. Thank you Dr. Hearn.
Emmett Aldredge, III
August 19, 2008 – 08:15 AM
Dr. Hearn’s passion for Wake Forest was matched by his power of persuasion. His steadfast embodiment of the ideals of Wake Forest University will always be remembered by those of us who hold Wake in our hearts.
Paul Stephens, JD 75
August 19, 2008 – 08:20 AM

I am deeply saddened to receive the news and will miss him.

I had the honor of serving on the College’s Board of Visitors during Dr. Hearn’s tenure. He was always a listener; an advisor and a friend. His vision and essays about education, its goals and purpose, and the relationship and role that athletics should bear with the educational process were brilliant and on the mark. As one of Wake’s early international students I especially admired his conviction that we have to be aware off and present to the rest of the world. He was an international minded leader. Wake was fortunate to have him pass through for a portion of his journey.

I extend my deepest sympathies to Dr. Hearn’s family. They are all in our prayers.

Peter J. Bondy ’67
August 19, 2008 – 08:25 AM
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hearn family at this time. We are grateful for Mr. Hearn’s tireless service to WFU. He was the right person to come along at the right time and made an everlasting impact. He has earned his rest. May he rest in peace.
The Roehrig Family
August 19, 2008 – 08:25 AM
Mrs. Hearn,
I am so sorry to hear this news. We will all share in your mourning.President Hearn will live on in his legacy and in the minds of those who saw him as a great leader. This is a great loss for the Wake Forest community.
Ally Greeson ’01
August 19, 2008 – 08:28 AM

You were a tremendous leader, President Hearn. Mrs. Hearn, I wish you comfort in the family and friends that support you during this difficult time.

Best,
Marin Shaughnessy Knight (’98)

Marin Shaughnessy Knight (’98)
August 19, 2008 – 08:33 AM

Mrs. Hearn,

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Hearn. Dr. Hearn enriched the reputation and student life of Wake Forest in immeasurable ways and his work will be fondly remembered. My prayers will be with you and your family in this your time of sorrow and in the days to come.

Kimberly Jones ’05 ’06
August 19, 2008 – 08:35 AM

Mrs. Hearn,

I was so sorry to hear about Dr. Hearn’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. He contributed so much over the years to the Wake Forest community and he will be greatly missed.

Tim Geremia
August 19, 2008 – 08:38 AM
Dr. Hearn was a very kind man, and I was very saddened to hear of his passing. He will be very missed.
Sheila Hatfield
August 19, 2008 – 08:39 AM
How lucky we all could be to have President Hearn at the helm for so many years. To the Hearn Family: Thank you so much for sharing him with all of us. Like any good parent, he fostered our creativity, imagination and community involvement, but allowed us to remain independent to receive an education, not just in the classroom, but also in life. I’m a recent graduate (’05), but I am honored that I got to shake his hand as I received my diploma and approval from him to continue on with the lessons that Wake taught me. I hope he’s humming the Fight Song in heaven… My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
John T. Kraper
August 19, 2008 – 08:44 AM
Thank you for your service.
J.Ratledge M.Div. ’06
August 19, 2008 – 08:44 AM
My prayers are with you and your family during this time. May the love of God and his peace comfort you.
Zella Johnson
August 19, 2008 – 08:44 AM
Dr. Hearn was an exceptional leader and will be greatly missed by the entire Wake Forest family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
A. Anthony (06) and Suzette C. (93) East
August 19, 2008 – 08:44 AM
Mrs. Hearn: I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of such a wonderful leader of young minds. When I left my son at Wake Forest after “moving in day”, I felt he was in good hands. Your husband’s talk with parents of freshman students reassured me that he was concerned and deeply cared for each and every young person on campus. One event that I especially remember was the wonderful memorial service your husband led on September 11th, 2001. We have kept a copy of his remarks and we cherish them. May you find comfort in the knowledge that your husband led a life of unmeasurable service and that he exemplified Wake Forest’s motto, “Pro Humanitate.” Well done, thou good and faithful servant.
Rebecca Wilkinson
August 19, 2008 – 08:53 AM
Our prayers are with the Hearn family.
Larry Hamrick, Jr., 1978
August 19, 2008 – 08:55 AM
From the first day in office, Tom Hearn made a huge difference to the relationship of Wake Forest with the community of Winston-Salem. As editorial page editor of the W-S Journal, I had a front row seat as Hearn worked his will and turned his vision of a university and a community working together for the greater good. Hearn was a rare combination of bright, profound philosopher and Type A, get things done leader. Did he step on some toes? Undoubtedly. But as I got to know the man, I realized how refined, and even kind, were his sensibilities. We had our differences, but over time, I became a big fan. It’s hard to think of anyone who has had a greater positive impact on this community in the past 50 years than Tom had in his 22 years as president of Wake Forest University.
John Gates
August 19, 2008 – 08:57 AM

Dear Mrs. Hearn,

I was sorry to read of President Hearn’s passing. I had just two opportunities to interact with him: when he handed me my diploma in 1988 and when he came to Pittsburgh (forget when) to meet with the alumni group. (The picture of him handing me my diploma is prominently displayed in my parents’ house.) I wish I had interacted with him more.

I sincerely appreciate all he did for Wake Forest; it seems he was always raising money, creating new degree programs, etc.–anything that would benefit the University. Truly, he was the right man for the job, at the right place at the right time, as they say.

Please accept my sincere condolences upon your loss.

Sincerely,
John D. Seibert (’88)

John D. Seibert
August 19, 2008 – 09:00 AM
There was no greater steward for our university.I firmly believe it was his leadership that made wake forest a place i will always love. Our thoughts and prayers are with President Hearn and his family.
Chas class of 06
August 19, 2008 – 09:00 AM
what a legacy. some leave a candle lit, his is a vast spotlight! may your family find some moments of peace. and know that you will embrace again one day.
Laura Whipple Dollyhigh (’96)
August 19, 2008 – 09:07 AM
It deeply saddens me to learn of President Hearn’s passing. I had the privilege of interacting with him when I took him to my psychology class during “A Day in the Life” of a student. Although the topic of the day was a bit risque, he took it in stride and was very cordial and pleasant. From that day forward, I was able to interact with him more. He even helped me get into law school with his recommendation. I appreciate everything that he did for me and the other students at Wake Forest during our time there. He will be missed.
Nefertari Rigsby (’05)
August 19, 2008 – 09:08 AM

I rejoice in the life and legacy of T.K. Hearn. We are all saddened by the fact that he will no longer with us physically, but celebrate a life that touched many. God is pleased, and welcomes him home to reward from labor.

To the Hearn Family: Rejoice!!!! He did run well, and as the apostle Paul so eloquently wrote “I fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

May the peace of God comfort you during this period. The world ( AND WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY) is a better
place thanks to Dr. Hearn’s contribution.

Eric Grate ’97

Eric Grate
August 19, 2008 – 09:11 AM

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Dr. Hearn was always in touch with the concerns, opinions, and desires of the Wake Forest student body..I remember being a Screamin’ Demon, rising to my feet with thousands at LJVM as they honored Dr. Hearn’s presence at a men’s basketball game..I recall having graduated, returning to Wake to visit one weekend, and running into Dr. Hearn on what is now appropriately named Hearn Plaza..His broad, genuine smile erupted as he asked about what trails life had taken me on since graduation from Wake..Dr. Hearn has left an INCREDIBLE legacy. His leadership fostered an academic environment that I will brag about until my time on earth has passed. Mrs. Hearn and family, be strengthened by the prayers of the Wake Forest family!

Kevin E. Felder, ’00
August 19, 2008 – 09:20 AM

Mrs. Hearn and family:

My deepest and sincere condolences on the loss or your husband, Dr. Thomas Hearn. I had the pleasure of interacting with him on several occasions during my tenure on the Alumni Board and Deacon Club and found him to be truly inspirational and an icon at WFU.
God be with you and your family during this difficult time. the angels have come and taken him home where we shall see him again very soon.

Jon W. Rosborough ’67
August 19, 2008 – 09:20 AM
Dr Hearn was a great leader and an overall great man. He will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. May the grace of God keep you and the peace of God sustain you during this time of bereavement.
Patricia Hatchett
August 19, 2008 – 09:23 AM
My daughter was a freshman during 9-11 and Dr. Hearn’s message to the students and faculty the next day was simply wonderful. I was comforted knowing my daughter was in an institution led by a caring and insightful gentleman. He will be missed.
Jeanetta Sanders
August 19, 2008 – 09:26 AM
Dr. Hearn created such a great envirnoment at Wake Forest. I was very fortunate to be able to attend Wake while he was there. The family is in my thoughts and prayers.
Sincerely,
Pamela Johnson
Pamela Johnson
August 19, 2008 – 09:38 AM

Doctor Hearn was a friend and neighbor for almost 18 years, we always enjoyed the chats during our neighborhood walks.

We will miss the humor, the smile and the geniuneness of this noble man!

Jay & Arlene Moore
August 19, 2008 – 09:38 AM

I am saddened to hear about the lost of Dr. Hearn but glad that I had the chance to be at Wake to see his leadership in action. Wake Forest and the city of Winston-Salem has lost a great leader. Mrs Hearn you are in my prayers but please rest assured that he did well and touched many.

Rest Dr Hearn

Stephen Williams
August 19, 2008 – 09:45 AM
Dr. Hearn was a magnificent leader and I remember his support of our tennis team in 1988 and 1989 as he loved the sport. He will truly be missed. We are all blessed to have known him as he made the world a better place. I know the Hearn family will find comfort in the fond memories they have of such a wonderful man.
Julie Pash
August 19, 2008 – 09:49 AM

Dr. Hearn was a fine man who truly loved Wake Forest and all its people. I will never forget meeting him during freshman orientation. I was a little worried about being underdressed when I noticed other students wearing dresses and ties, but Dr. Hearn loved my “Kermit the Frog” t-shirt! If I didn’t already know I was in the right place, I knew it then. He had so much to do with making Wake Forest the place it is today, and I am grateful and honored to have been there while he was president.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of his family.

Julie Ball ’99
August 19, 2008 – 09:50 AM

While I personally didn’t know President Hearn, his presence was felt in my four years at Wake and the many years thereafter. I send my condolences to his family and many friends.

Sincerely,

David T. Clark 86

David T. Clark
August 19, 2008 – 09:53 AM
As a 1974 graduate of WFU, I offer my condolences to you and your family.
Judy Hogshead Jordan
August 19, 2008 – 09:54 AM

Throughout my time at Wake I often ran into President Hearn at the Pit in the mornings as we both were getting a cup of coffee to start the morning. No matter what was going on or how busy he was, he always had time for a smile and a kind word. That’s what I’ll remember most about President Hearn. He always had time for the students.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Sean Blue
August 19, 2008 – 09:56 AM

I was a sophomore the day I sat in Wait Chapel and witnessed the inauguration on President Hearn. Like many I was skeptical of his grand vision for the comfortable liberal arts institution I had chosen just a year earlier.

Looking back on that inauguration day nearly 25 years ago, I am in awe of Dr. Hearn’s legacy. His vision awoke a sleeping giant at Wake Forest and brought the University to places almost no one believed it could be in just 20 years.

He will be missed as a leader, a scholar, and a man of great compassion. My deepest sympathies to the entire Hearn faily.

Mark Hall, ’86

Mark Hall
August 19, 2008 – 09:57 AM
I am deeply saddened to learn of Dr. Hearn’s passing. He was a wonderful leader of our university, which greatly prospered during his tenure. My thoughts and prayers are with the Hearn family as they and our university have suffered a tremendous loss.
Kenneth Green ’79
August 19, 2008 – 09:57 AM
May God bring you peace in your time of sorrow! The Hearn family, Wake Forest University, and the Winston-Salem community have lost a great man and leader! The Wake Forest University family owe a deep debt of gratitude to Mr. Hearn for guiding this prestigious university to where it is today. His vision, commitment and tireless efforts will leave a lasting impression on those affiliated with WFU for decades to come. May he rest in peace for his work on this earth has been completed. Thou good and faithful servant can go home now! Again, to the Hearn family, may God comfort you in your time of sorrow and bring peace to your heart!
Mark Forester ’03 ’05 and family
August 19, 2008 – 09:58 AM

May it give you strength to know that the positive difference Dr. Hearn made in this world lives on through the lives of the countless people he impacted. How fortunate we all were to have benefited from his goodness and wisdom.

With Love and Hugs,

Susan ’86

Susan Davis Kopynec
August 19, 2008 – 09:59 AM
Mrs Hearn, I had the pleasure of meeting you and your daughter years ago at a barn on highway 158 in Clemmons. That barn has now been replaced by a development project however our first meeting will never be replaced. I work for the school of medicine and have long been a fan of Wake Forest and its exceptional president Dr Hearn. He will be greatly missed. You and the family are in my prayers. May your memories of Dr Hearn be as special as the one memory of mine when I met you years ago.
Cynthia (Smith) Holbrook
August 19, 2008 – 10:00 AM

It was an honor to know Dr. Hearn for many years and to work at Wake Forest during his presidency. I will always be grateful to him. I have many fine memories of him.

I will keep Dr. Hearn and the Hearn family in my prayers.

Kevin Cox
August 19, 2008 – 10:02 AM
Rod is a ’74 grad of Wake, and very proud of it! We are most grateful for the wonderful impact that Dr. Hearn had on the school. We also are very proud to know his son and grandson and send our deepest condolences to the entire family. Rod and Cammie Buie
Mr. and Mrs. Rod Buie
August 19, 2008 – 10:03 AM
Every Wake Forest Alum owes Tom Hearn a debt of gratitude. His life and commitment define our university for decades.
John Lassiter ’76BA ’80JD
August 19, 2008 – 10:05 AM

Dr. Thomas Hearn, Jr. is a legacy at Wake Forest University. I recently visited Wake with my son as he was applying to colleges, and throughout the visit, I experienced the changes that Dr. Hearn made happen, and the love that Dr. Hearn gave to “Dear Old”. Many blessings to Mrs. Hearn, and the entire Hearn family in this time of sorrow. Please know that so very many of us in the greater Deacon family share with you in your loss. Thank you for lending Dr. Hearn to us for our greater good.

“Sparky” Head Cheerleader 1980

Darlene Lawrence Pierce
August 19, 2008 – 10:06 AM
Dr. Hearn and his family are in my family’s hearts and prayers. His vision and values were as responsible as any other factor for my tremendous undergraduate experience at Wake Forest, and I hope that they remain a guiding force for the current administration.
“Geoff Lamont, ’00
August 19, 2008 – 10:07 AM
Thank you for your years of dedicated service. Our thoughts and prayers are with Hearn family. The Wake Forest community has lost one of its greatest leaders.
Matt Talley ’01
August 19, 2008 – 10:07 AM

Dr. Hearn was very kind to me during my years as a graduate student at Wake Forest. I extend my sympathies to his immediate family and to the family of friends at the Wake Forest campus.

Peggy Beach, 1994 (MA)
Raleigh, NC

Peggy Beach
August 19, 2008 – 10:16 AM
If one reads all the comments that precede my note their words say all that there is to say. The magnitude of the outpouring of affection paints a true portrait of Thomas Hearn. I was blessed to have spent time on this earth with him and will be forever grateful for those times.
My deepest condolences. Class of 1972 and 1975
Jim Bailey
August 19, 2008 – 10:18 AM
I am sorry to hear of Tom Hearn’s passing. He always impressed me as a man full of life, especially when I got to talk with him at the festive gatherings he would hold at his home for faculty and students. President Hearn cared deeply about Wake Forest University and led it admirably and passionately.
Jan Bardsley
August 19, 2008 – 10:28 AM
May the eternal light of our Lord’s resurrection abide with Dr. Hearn and give comfort to his family.
Rev. Dr. Murray Joseph Thompson
August 19, 2008 – 10:30 AM
We are so sorry to hear of Dr. Hearn’s passing – this is such a loss to the Wake Forest community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Dave Detterline (’02) & Shey (Stonemetz) Detterline (’03)
August 19, 2008 – 10:36 AM
Thank you Dr. Hearn for transforming our fine University into a geat one. You were a fine person who always made us feel at home when we came back to visit. You made us all Proud to be Deacons. RIP
Chuck Jones, ’62
August 19, 2008 – 10:40 AM
May the Holy Spirit rest with your family to comfort you during your time of grief.
Michelle
August 19, 2008 – 10:42 AM
Dr. Hearn was a great leader whose insight and guidance was indispensable in helping to solidify both the national reputation of Wake Forest and its future security. He was also a major community leader who understood the integral role that the university must play in contributing to the economic health and future of the region. He will long be remembered for his wisdom and service our great university.
Mark Wright
August 19, 2008 – 10:44 AM
Our hearts go out to the Hearn family. God Bless the Hearn family, and Lord bring them comfort and peace through this time of sorrow and loss.
Mr. & Mrs. H. Brian Wolverton
August 19, 2008 – 10:45 AM
God Bless a good man and his family. Thank goodness he came along.
Laurel O. Boyles
August 19, 2008 – 10:45 AM
I have know 4 Presidents at WFU since I entered in 1956. No one has accomplished more or improved the national status of Wake more than Tom Hearn. He will be sorely missed by the Wake Forest community.
Tom Mills ’60
August 19, 2008 – 10:57 AM
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Hearn family on this sad day. While I only met T.K. twice during my time at Wake Forest, I am thankful for his dedication to the students and faculty and his love of the community. Dr. Hearn’s efforts to make Wake Forest a home away from home for so many will be his lasting legacy.
Chris Mullen (98)
August 19, 2008 – 11:14 AM
Wake Forest and Winston-Salem has lost so much with the passing of Dr. Hearn. I am very sorry for the Hearn family and my heart goes out to the pain they must feel. There is no doubt that Wake Forest has another angel looking down.
Lolly Hemphill ’07 ’09
August 19, 2008 – 11:29 AM
Although you are with us no more, your legacy of strength, scholarship and strong faith reside within us all. Thank you for a life-giving vocation that continues to reconcile the world to God, through us. May you be welcomed into the eternal encircling love of God Almighty. Amen.
The Rev. J. Lee Hill, Jr., M.Div. ’05
August 19, 2008 – 11:42 AM
Dr. Hearn’s passing is a tremendous loss to both the University and to American higher education. He will be missed. Over the years I received copies of many of his commencement and other speeches. They were excellent – inspiring, profound, insightful, and humorous all at the same time. He was truly a giant.
John P. Lewis, Jr. – 77 (JD)
August 19, 2008 – 11:57 AM

Dear Mrs. Hearn, I still remember the day that President Hearn was confirmed into Wake Forest at Wait Chapel. Presient Hearn was a well spoken and extremely generous human being who I will always remember in my prayers.

He made a clear & tremendous contribution to Wake Forest and its future. President Hearn’s will be sadly missed by me and all of my siblings who attended Wake Forest. God bless your entire family.

Khalique Zahir MD (’87)
August 19, 2008 – 11:57 AM
I had the opportunity of spending time with Dr. Hearn on several occasions through various leadership programs and chairing the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive. I always found him to be the consummate gentleman, dignified but never out of touch with the happenings of the university. I will always be appreciative of his service and commitment to Wake Forest University and will remember his personal kindness and grace fondly.
Gavin Williams (’00)
August 19, 2008 – 11:59 AM
I am deeply sadden at the loss of Dr. Hearn. His death is a tremendous loss for the medical center and for his family. My heart and prayers go out to the family during this difficult time. God bless this family and give them strength to endure this loss.
Elaine Walker
August 19, 2008 – 12:05 PM
Although Dr. Hearn’s passing is a loss to all of us committed to higher education, his legacy for each of us should be a renewed commitment to the preservation of the ideals he stood for. This was always evident in what he achieved for Wake Forest and in his words and actions that inspired us all. He will always be remembered and greatly missed.
“Robert Pellegrino, PA-C 83
August 19, 2008 – 12:25 PM
God bless the Hearn family and all Dr. Hearn’s friends. He was a great asset to Wake Forest University.
Susan R. Fleming
August 19, 2008 – 12:29 PM
Our son, Ken JR, began his freshman year at Wake the same year Tom Hearn became President. We were fortunate to become friends not only with Tom but also with several members of his family. We spent many emjoyable times together in North Carolina and in parts of Europe. We deeply appreciated and valued everything Tom accomplished for the University as well as the relationship he had with our son. To us, Tom Hearn was Wake Forest University. He will be sorely missed in our hearts and fond memories.
Joan & Ken
Joan & Ken Hunt
August 19, 2008 – 12:37 PM
My condolences to the Hearn family. Dr. Hearn was a tremendous leader and contributed to my fond memories of WFU. God bless you all.
Lori Ferrell, ’84
August 19, 2008 – 12:43 PM
In 1967 when I graduated little did I realize the impact WF was to have on me and my life. Dr. Hearn continued in the grandest of manners to build upon that which others had built before him. Dr. Hearn was among the best of those Americans who did what they did beyond the bar of all others.
Max Holcher, ’67
August 19, 2008 – 01:37 PM
Tom was a dear friend of my parents, Fred and Jo Conner, at the UAB and the many years later until their deaths in 1995 and 1999, respectively. I recall many fun conversations with him and a lot of laughter and wit shared. I speak for my family and raise a toast north from Gainesville to Tom. Godspeed and cheers, Tom.
Jim Conner
August 19, 2008 – 02:00 PM
I am deeply sorry for the loss of Dr. Tom Hearn and wish to extend my sympathy to his wife and family.
He will be missed by many.
Patricia Dixon
August 19, 2008 – 02:24 PM
Dr. Hearn will truly be missed. He was a tremendous leader and blessed man. As a student at Wake Forest, I was privileged to have been chosen a “Presidential Aide.” It was wonderful to be part of a group of students selected to attend events with Dr. Hearn. He became my friend and took the time to get to know my entire family. My thoughts and prayers are with his family now in this time of need.
Thank you for being a blessing in my life Dr. Hearn! Jereme P. Butler ’92 BA/ ’96 MD
Jereme P. Butler
August 19, 2008 – 02:30 PM
I will remember President Hearn as a man who stopped his work on certain afternoons of a particular summer to listen to and counsel me. I’ll never forget that kindness. I will miss him. My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
Olga Valbuena
August 19, 2008 – 02:47 PM
President Hearn will be remembered for innumerable examples of leadership. Here are two:
The first: He was proud of the affiliation with Reynolda House and supported every collaboration between the museum and the university.The second: When WFU was grappling with an unsanctioned insert in the Old Gold and Black denying the holocaust, Dr. Hearn put aside talk of freedom of the press and said, “It’s a matter of the truth.”That was the essence of the man.Debbie Rubin
Debbie Rubin
August 19, 2008 – 03:14 PM
I worked at Wake Forest for seven and a half years under President Hearn. He was always a gentleman, forward thinking and the ultimate professional. My prayers go to the family.
Bruce Vaughan
August 19, 2008 – 05:36 PM
I am deeply grateful for the wonderful man who did so much for our beloved university and who stood out as a man of high integrity and great empathy for both the faculty and students. I am thankful for the opportunity to have been part of the last graduating class at the old campus, but am even more so for the progress that Wake has made over the last 52 years.
Lee Anglin
August 19, 2008 – 07:37 PM
Although an alumnus of Wake from 1971 and 1972, I only became acquainted with President Hearn when I became President of Colorado State University. Our conversations left a deep impression on me of what a moral leader can do for a university – or any organization. Tom Hearn was such a leader. His decision to alter the historic relationship of the University with autonomy for the board of trustees was a momentous decision – and one that signaled that President Hearn was among the University’s greatest leaders. I will miss him.
Larry Edward Penley
August 19, 2008 – 07:58 PM
Sincerest condolences on the passing of President Hearn. Alumunus of 1993, President Hearne was at the forefront of what Wake Forest is today. God Bless.
Christian Perry
August 19, 2008 – 08:01 PM
Our daughter Jeannie attended Wake Forest from 2003 to 2007 and we felt like we belonged to a Family not just a school. Dr. Hearn spoke at her orientation and gave out his cell # for us and told us to call if any problems or concerns, I knew then that he was a special man. Thank you Mrs. Hearn and family for sharing him with Wake Forest and our family. You are in our prayers.
Tommy & Susan Blake
August 19, 2008 – 08:09 PM
I am a native of Anes Station, Tennessee. Tom’s Aunt Sis and Uncle B ran our village store where Tom and Mary Jane came to spend their summers. What truly people they all were, enriching my life immeasureably. Tom’s address to graduates in 1998 about his uncle entitled “The Greatest of These” is a masterpiece of inspiration. The title of that speech also applies to Tom. Wake Forest was fortunate to have such a person as a leader. I extend my sympathy and blessings to those at the university and to his family. Jack Higgs, Professor Emeritus, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.
Jack Higgs
August 19, 2008 – 08:15 PM
Dr. Hearn will be missed by the Wake Forest community.
Our prayers are with the family.
Julie Zotian
August 19, 2008 – 08:22 PM
Dr. Hearn left his enduring thumbrints all over Wake Forest. His vision and his ability to implement that vision is quite simply remarkable. He would not let Wake Forest settle for anything less than the “best” Wake Forest could be. He will certainly be missed. To his family, thank you for sharing Dr. Hearn with Wake Forest; you will be in our prayers.
Colin Creel ’96 ’00
August 19, 2008 – 08:30 PM
We are saddened to hear of the loss of President Hearn. His leadership was appreciated during our tenure at Wake Forest from 1991-1995. Our thoughts are with his family and the WFU community at this time.
David and Terri Houghton
August 19, 2008 – 08:35 PM
I was inspired by the leadership Dr. Hearn showed during the fall of 1996 when two of my classmates were killed in a car accident on Polo road. He was instrumental in helping to change the NC drunk driving laws and supported us wholeheartedly throughout the tragedy. I am forever grateful.
Whitney Montague Mathews
August 19, 2008 – 08:51 PM
Lindsay,I am sorry for the loss of your Father. My thoughts are with you & your brothers. Even though we are miles apart, our old Bluff Park memories are always sweet & the friendships are forever. Thinking of you, Claudia Crowley Rivero, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Claudia Crowley Rivero
August 19, 2008 – 09:12 PM
Tom Hearn and our daughter Nancy Chase began their stints at Wake the very same year—he, as President and Nancy, as a freshman. We left Winston-Salem knowing that she had a fellow Alabamian and good friend. We treasure the memories that we have visiting the campus during those four years with Tom presiding. He left a considerable legacy. Bev Chase
Henry & Beverly Chase
August 19, 2008 – 09:36 PM
I don’t know I would like to be loved or respected. But I know that I had both for Dr. Hearn. God Bless you!
Wayne Tudor OD
August 19, 2008 – 09:54 PM
I am very sad to hear of the passing of TK Hearn. I was a presidential Aide for President Hearn from 2003-2005. He was truly a wonderful President to the University, very open and approachable to all the students. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Shea Foley Wesolowski
August 19, 2008 – 10:46 PM
I will always remember Tom Hearn for both his wisdom and his good humor. Many will comment on the former, but I will comment on the latter. Over the years I had several great laughs with Tom. On two separate occasions I actually physically knocked Tom down. The first was when I was an untenured junior professor, and found myself playing doubles tennis with Tom as my partner. We were both at net when opponent Mike Ford hit a deep lob over our heads, to Tom’s side of the court. Just coming off heart surgery, I was convinced he would not be able to race to the backcourt to get the ball, so I took off. As it turned out, he was faster and already there (in my way) and I knocked him flat on his you-know-what. He got up and said, “You know that ball was on my side?” When I replied I knew that, he said “What’s your name again, I want to remember you.” Fortunately, I was tenured a couple years later. And then Barbara Bush came to town for commencement. I had brought her autobiography with me onto the stage for her to autograph. When she indicated she would be happy to do so, I briefly stepped away to pick up the book, and then stepped back. During that instant Tom had taken my place and was speaking to the former first lady. In front of thousands on the quad, he went bowling over when I stepped back to “my spot.” He saw who it was who had committed the crime, and smiled. He sort of shrugged and said “This is getting to be a habit for you, isn’t it?” Whoops. One more story to tell here. About a year ago I was walking out of Reynolda Hall at the same time Tom was exiting. He said, “Hi, Stan,” confusing me with another professor who I look a lot like. Without pausing, I said, “Hi, Nathan, how’re you doing?” We both had a good laugh. Fortunately, I did not knock him over that time! I will miss Tom Hearn in many ways, as will we all.
Professor Page West
August 20, 2008 – 12:05 AM

I never knew Dr. Hearn personally, but I loved my time at Wake and I’m grateful for his service and tremendous dedication to making this university what it is today. I always considered it a sign of flattery that students referred to him, not often as Dr. Hearn or President Hearn, but just “TK”. That kind of familiarity is not seen at most large universities and one of the things that makes Wake such an amazing institution and priceless experience.

My deepest sympathies to his family and the WF community.

Charlie Crisp ’01
August 20, 2008 – 12:27 AM
Lindsay, I am so sorry for your loss. I know from our summers working together at Penland just how important your father was to so many and especially you and your family. God Bless and know he was well loved and admired by so many in our community.
Mary Bailey Thomas
August 20, 2008 – 02:11 AM
There are few people in my life who have held me spellbound by the degree to which their work has made their dreams reality. Dr. Hearn was one of these men. In my brief interactions with him as a student in the twilight of his tenure I saw in him a man who had poured his soul into Wake Forest. I will be eternally grateful to him for helping to mold an institution that gave me the most formative experience of my life. I offer my condolences to his family, and my celebration to his memory.
Joshua King
August 20, 2008 – 03:16 AM

I did not know President Hearn personally, but I know that my time at Wake Forest was one of the best experiences of my life. I too share in celebrating and recognizing his service to the University, and helping make it the special place that it is.

Occasionally I would witness him having breakfast in the Pit (the old one). It was always cool to see the President (“TK”) eating in the Pit among the students.

Much Deacon love and prayers for the Hearn family and for President Hearn.

James MacPherson ’02
August 20, 2008 – 07:07 AM
Dean Hearn’s passing is a great loss to the Wake Forest community, but he will be long remembered for his dedication to the University. My deepest sympathies for Dean Hearn’s family and friends.
Graham H. Kidner, JD 1986
August 20, 2008 – 08:28 AM
Dr. Hearn was that rare leader in today’s world who was willing to stand up for his beliefs, accept the risks of such leadership, and, most importantly, strong enough to admit his few mistakes and correct them. A mighty oak has fallen and when we look at the hole left in the forest canopy, we can only wonder “who can take his place” and make the canopy whole again.
Terry Holland
Terry Holland
August 20, 2008 – 09:02 AM

One of my favorite Wake pictures is of J’s Crew members on the quad with President Hearn… he’s in his robes with that golden laurel around his neck, and I’m the one standing next to him. I remember what a thrill that was — he had a way of making everyone feel special. What an inspiring, solid, gentle leader. I am honored that I went to Wake when he was still the president, and his presence is deeply missed.

Our hearts go out to his family… we will be praying for you.

Derek & Brooke West (’02 & ’03)

Brooke West
August 20, 2008 – 09:55 AM
Dear Mrs. Hearn:
I just heard the terrible news of Dr. Hearn’s passing. Please
know that Alvise and I are thinking of you at this sad time, and are
sending you strength and support. We fondly remember our times together
in Venice, and especially the warm welcome you both showed us when we
were in Winston-Salem.
With deepest sympathy,
Maria Agnese Chiari Moretto Wiel
August 20, 2008 – 10:26 AM

Tom was so genuinely kind, warm, and principled. I loved Tom Hearn the man for who he was, and Tom Hearn the transformative, visionary leader of our University more for what he did.

Sherry Jarrell – faculty since 1998

Sherry Jarrell
August 20, 2008 – 10:44 AM
The Wingate University family was saddened to learn of Dr. Hearn’s passing. He was a great leader who held the respect of our entire community. Wake Forest University will feel the effect of his many accomplishments.
Jerry E. McGee
August 20, 2008 – 11:22 AM
In Aug ’92 when I met Tom for the first time at our daughter’s frosh orientation, I kindly asked him to “take good care of my daughter” for the next four years. He replied “I will” and he did. JK WFU CumLaude’96.
TK put WFU on the map; hope a lot of people realize this.
Michael Kolesar
August 20, 2008 – 11:24 AM
Thanks Dr. Hearn for giving me a chance! I was just a kid from Winston, a poor one with little more than good grades. Thanks for letting me in, and showing what I could do!
Calvin Sims
August 20, 2008 – 11:27 AM
President Hearn’s first full year at Wake Forest coincided with that of our 1984 freshman class. Over the next 4 years, he implemented so many wondrous changes at Wake, including the first co-ed dorm on North Campus. His grace as Wake’s leader was evident in all he did. We will miss him. May his memory be eternal. –Eugenia Maish ’88
Eugenia Maish
August 20, 2008 – 11:47 AM
Laura,
Tom was a great man and a great leader of WFU and the community. It was a high honor to have known him and to have worked with him. We will miss him.You and the entire Hearn family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Andy and Ellen Schindler
August 20, 2008 – 12:30 PM
My condolences to the Hearn family. My prayers are with you all during this most difficult time. President Hearn was a great great man and true leader for Wake Forest University. As a Babcock graduate I saw first hand how his outstanding leadership benefited the entire University and local community.
Steven Savino
August 20, 2008 – 12:34 PM
There is huge void in our hearts now with the passing of Tom Hearn, our WF President, community leader, neighbor and friend. Such a smart man; he gave us so much.
Love to Laura and the whole family,
Charlotte Hanes, Board of Visitors ’05
Charlotte Hanes
August 20, 2008 – 12:48 PM
My prayers are with the Hearn family. Although I never had the honor of meeting President Hearn, I am proud to have been at Wake Forest. Dr. Hearn’s leadership and many significant accomplishments play a tremendous role in my pride.
Jack Smith (JD ’86)
August 20, 2008 – 01:16 PM
After having been introduced to Tom by James Ralph Scales in Egbert Davis’ home in 1983, my wife Ellen and I had the pleasure of touring the HKBC with him in 1989, a college founded by my father in 1956 on a borrowed campus and now becoming the Hong Kong Baptist University with over 4,000 students. Amidst his busy schedule in the Orient, Tom was always concerned and checked constantly by fax on the prospect of North Carolina winning bids in providing new manufacturing venues. My family, which includes also my sons Tim Jr (’93) and Marcus (’97), send to you, Laura, our most heartfelt condolence. Tom is truly missed. God bless you.
Timothy See Yiu Lam (’60)
August 20, 2008 – 01:58 PM
Our daughter, Katie, graduated from Wake Forest in 2007. We were grateful for the leadership of President Hearn that enabled her to receive a stellar education. The University under President Hearn’s capable guidance also provided the students with a place to grow and develop into world citizens. Our deepest sympathy is extended to the Hearn family.
Henry and Darlene Robey
August 20, 2008 – 02:38 PM

My brother, Michael Joseph, received his bachelors degree and law degree from Wake and is proud to called a Deac. For years he has been writing spiritual messages that have helped hundreds of us exam our the essence of our lives. Today, his message included such an insightful observation of Dr. Hearn from a football game last season. Michael wrote: I am not the easist person to take with you on vacation.

The problem is that you go on vacation to escape all of your problems, and when I am away, the problems seem to bubble up right there, to discuss right on the beach. It is as if they insist on being aired, future problems and decisions especially, while one is surrounded by people that love and care for you.

The other thing you carry with you on vacation, though, is God’s love, which somehow comes through. I thought of this as just before we left, we all gathered in the foyer, held hands, and prayed that God and the Holy Spirit would guide and support us in the coming challenges of a new school year (for the teachers among us) and for all of us.

And, then, this morning, I read in the paper that Thomas K. Hearn, former President of Wake Forest University, died at home of a brain tumor. He was a very powerful man, who built many buildings as Wake and transformed the school. The last time I saw him, however, was last fall at a football game. While I am sure that as a former president he could have had executive seating, he was sitting in the area of the cheap seats, by himself, on the grassy hill of the stadium. At halftime, he got up, and assisted by his son, he sort of staggered (due to his medical condition) to his car, and left.

President Hearn seemed to know that he could not take anything with him, not even his his position, and was very wise. Today, what we, the living
who must go on, take with us is God’s love. It surrounds us, is all about us, and will never leave us, no matter what the challenge or difficulty.

Mary Frame
August 20, 2008 – 02:47 PM

My deepest sympathies to Mrs. Hearn and the entire Hearn family. Dr. Hearn’s leadership and guidance elevated Wake Forest to one of the country’s leading universities. For that, I will be always thankful He will be deeply missed.

Richard D. Marino, B.A. 1976

Richard D. Marino
August 20, 2008 – 03:58 PM
Dr. Hearn was a tremendous leader for both Wake Forest and the Winston-Salem community. His loss will be greatly felt throughout the Wake Forest community.
May God Bless the Hearn family in their time of loss.
Michael Logan
August 20, 2008 – 05:05 PM
I am deeply saddened at the loss of President Hearn. I had the honor of having a meal at his house twice when I was at Wake Forest, and I remember him as approachable and interested in the students. He was also a visionary. He will be missed. May God bless his family.
Andy Hart, BA 1988
August 20, 2008 – 06:11 PM
I am saddened to hear of Dr. Hearn’s death. Please know that you are in my prayers at this time.
Ashley Gentry
August 20, 2008 – 06:26 PM

I will always remember Dr. Hearn’s leadership as a microcosm of Wake Forest: local enough to always make time for students like myself, yet broad enough to effectively build the types of wider relationships that have helped further the reputation of our beloved alma mater. My thoughts are with Laura and their family.

Jamey Spencer ’97

Jamey Spencer
August 20, 2008 – 07:38 PM

Dear Hearn Family:

I was sad to hear the news about the passing of Dr. Hearn. He was a well-respected and strong leader at Wake Forest University. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Sincerely,
Devra Lynn Rafeld ’90

Devra Lynn Rafeld
August 20, 2008 – 08:21 PM
When our son entered Wake Forest in 2000, Dr. Hearn greeted parents at a reception. I was so impressed that he shook so many hands, and took a minute with each person. I will always be grateful for the warmth he showed. At that moment I became a Wake Forest supporter. I felt his leadership. God Bless the Hearns and the Wake Forest family.
Hanne Denney
August 20, 2008 – 08:26 PM
Dr. Hearn led our university with a strong and gentle hand. A leader in academics and in athletics, a true fan and teacher. My best wishes are with his family, we will miss the panoply of talents that he lent to Wake Forest.
Rest in Peace, you have labored long and now rest is yours.
Mike Champlin ’75
August 20, 2008 – 08:38 PM
I was so sorry to hear about Dr. Hearn’s passing. He was such a good man.
Elissa Arnold
August 20, 2008 – 09:20 PM
My condolences on your loss. My wife Joanne was in the same clinical trial and the Video that the hospital made for the research. She passed 18 months ago. I followed Dr Hearn’s progress and am deeply saddened at his loss. He will be missed.
My Best to his Family
John Barr
August 20, 2008 – 10:05 PM
I carry with me an important message President Hearn shared with my graduating class in his commencement remarks. He talked about recovering from tragedy and how equilibrium shifts in life. He encouraged us to discover a new “normal,” a new state of being that incorporates each experience into our lives.
The Wake Forest community has lost a great leader, and we shall take his charge and redefine our sense of balance, forever remembering his legacy.
Stephanie Pavlis, ’03
August 20, 2008 – 10:20 PM

Dr. Hearn’s visionary and courageous leadership was demonstrated in securing autonomy in governance for the University and leading Wake Forest University to be recognized as a “World Class Institution”.

Wake Forest, North Carolina and the Nation have lost a spiritual, intellectual and educational giant.

My sincere prayers and sympathy go to Mrs. Hearn and the entire family.

Roy J. Smith,’53; former trustee
August 20, 2008 – 11:18 PM
Although I graduated in 1985 and never had much opportunity to visit with President Hearn, I was deeply touched by his beautiful writings and the messages he conveyed. He was special and right, of course: we live by grace and grace alone.
I wish you the best in the days ahead.
Ben Citrin
August 21, 2008 – 12:29 AM

Wake Forest rose to national prominence under the leadership of Dr. Hearn. We are all very grateful for his vision and accomplishments. His spirit will continue to stir passion in our hearts for the well-being of Wake Forest University. Condolences go out to the Hearn family and the entire Wake Forest community.

-Chip Sulser, ’74

Chip Sulser
August 21, 2008 – 08:28 AM
God Bless Dr. Hearn. May he rest in peace.
Terry Giblin WFU ’77
August 21, 2008 – 09:04 AM
I came to Wake Forest during the last year of President Hearn’s administration, and even in that short year my peers and I could tell the tremendous impact (and then legacy) that Dr. Hearn had at Wake Forest.
He was also one of the most personable individuals I have ever known. In conversation with you, it was easy to see that he loved engaging with the student population, as well as the faculty and staff. Simply put, TK Hearn made Wake Forest what it is today. He will be deeply missed.
Christina Chauvenet ’08
August 21, 2008 – 09:21 AM
Our deepest condolences.
Shelia Smith-Ankrah, Kwasi Ankrah, Class of 1993
August 21, 2008 – 09:47 AM
I remember listening to him give his opening remarks at the freshman convocation each year. One quote he always used was from a man he met when he first became President who told him, “I don’t know you, but I love you because I love Wake Forest.” I didn’t know him personally but he was loved and respected because of his love, vision and care of Wake Forest.
Alexa Starr
August 21, 2008 – 11:43 AM
On behalf of the Wake Forest College Birthplace Society, we send our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Hearn and the entire Hearn Family. Our mission here in old Wake Forest is to preserve and share the history of Wake Forest. Dr. Hearn was and is a vital part of that history.
Ed Morris
August 21, 2008 – 12:34 PM
As a Wake Forest graduate (1953) and a resident of Birmingham, AL, I want to send my condolences to the family of Dr. Thomas Hearn. My grandfather went to Wake Forest in the last century and served Baptist churches in NC. I appreciate all Dr. Hearn did to build on the Baptist traditions of Wake Forest and I pray they will be continued.
Roger W. Cole
August 21, 2008 – 01:53 PM
Thank you Dr. Hearn for you passion and energy you poured into the university for many years. Your presence will be missed by the entire Wake Forest community.
Brian Starr
August 21, 2008 – 02:35 PM

As a direct result of Dr. Hearn’s leadership, I have had the good fortune to have an extremely satisfying professional career at Wake Forest, as well as the opportunity for one of my own children to graduate from the University.

My deepest sympathy is extended to Laura Hearn and the family at this time of bereavement. Be secure in the knowledge that President Hearn was truly a man of diverse talents, “a man for all seasons”, one who made a significant difference in the lives of many who had the opportunity to work with, or for, him on the many projects that he initiated both at the University and beyond.

His legacy will be reflected in the annals of Wake Forest history as a time of monumental progress that positioned the institution to move into the 21st Century equipped to grow and change as circumstances dictate.

May he rest in peace.

Harold Holmes
Associate V.P. &
Dean of Student Services

Harold R. Holmes
August 21, 2008 – 02:47 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Hearn’s family and friends during this difficult time. I will always be grateful for the wonderful education that I received at Wake Forest during his presidency.
Kelly Kilroy Foley (B.A. 1992)
August 21, 2008 – 02:52 PM
Tom was my friend. He spoke at my inaugration as president of Averett University and I served with him as a member of his first Board of Trustees at WFU. I have never met a more honest person. His legacy at WFU will live on,but his presence will be missed. Frank Campbell
Frank R. Campbell
August 21, 2008 – 02:56 PM
I was at wake When he was Thier for the special olympics We will Total Miss him he was Nice President
kelly
August 21, 2008 – 03:22 PM
My heart and prayers go out to the Hearn family. I’ll always remember Dr. Hearn as a kind man and able-bodied president – and, of course, someone who would always say “hi” on the quad. He’ll be sorely missed.
Danielle Altieri
August 21, 2008 – 03:58 PM
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Hearn family. I first met Dr. Hearn as a student lifeguard when he would come to the pool in Reynolds Gym for lap swim, and later I got to know him through his involvement in the community. Dr. Hearn was a wonderful person who cared deeply for Wake Forest and Winston-Salem, and both are much better places because of his tireless efforts. He will be greatly missed.
Chuck Greene (BA 1992)
August 21, 2008 – 05:27 PM
I am very sorry and deeply moved to hear about Dr. Hearn’s passing. When Dr. Hearn learned that our daughter would be the first person from his county in Alabama to enroll at Wake Forest, he called to speak to her. He ended up talking to her mother who asked “and what do you teach?” Dr. Hearn said he was the president and was from Albertville. He later called Taylor, and finding where her interests lay, sent her a book of poetry.
Dr. Hearn truly loved Sand Mountain and Alabama. He never forgot who he was or where he came from. Our sincere condolences to the Hearn family.Hal Kennamer, Guntersville, Al.
Hal Kennamer
August 21, 2008 – 06:03 PM
Our son, Joshua, was accepted into WFU back in 2005. We were delighted. Joshua had just finished all requirements for his Eagle Scout Badge and we were busy preparing for his Court of Honor. We requested letters of congratulations from different dignitaries and wondered if the current president of WFU would spare a minute to jot him a note. Dr. Hearn did not hesitate. His letter to Josh was heartfelt, sincere and after reading it, we felt assured that Josh would be attending a college that was led by a very caring and genuine man. We were saddened to hear he was retiring but were grateful we had his words of congratulations before he did. Although we didn’t get to know him or experience him in his presidency, he made a sincere impact on the generosity one person can give to another. Our prayers go out to Dr. Hearn and his family. Our loss, is heavens gain. God Bless.
Al and Laureen DeBenedetto
August 21, 2008 – 07:19 PM
Our son, Hayes, was on the Wake Forest Tennis team and Dr. Hearn was always supported and at the home matches. He loved tennis matches and we often compared his skills with those of the team. No one would have ever known Dr. Hearn was the President of Wake because he was always just part of the crowd and never needed any added attention. We will miss him in Winston Salem and all the fine contributions he made to our great city. God gave us a great gift in getting a chance to know this wonderful and caring man. Thanks for the good memories that will never be forgotten.
Lida Hayes Calvert
August 21, 2008 – 08:03 PM
This is a message for Lindsay. I am thinking of you with fond memories of our wonderful time in France more than 25 years ago. I have wondered many times where you are and how you are, hoping our paths might cross again one day. With love and sympathy to you and all the family, Kitty
Kitty Scott Urquhart
August 22, 2008 – 08:21 AM
Tom and I were fraternity brothers at BSC. Even at that early stage one could tell that he was destined to accomplish great things. I followed his career with keen interest and was proud to have kown him. Deepest condolences to his family.
James Donahoo
August 22, 2008 – 08:58 AM
my husband,jack, and i graduated in 1984. dr. hearn came to wake our senior year and won our hearts immediately. he embodied everything that was good about wake forest and made us so proud to this day to be demon deacons. we became very involved in the school over the years and much was due to the leadership he provided. he was a dear friend and always made time to talk with you. he was so wise and over the years has given us through personal interaction and his writings such wonderful advice about life that we will carry with us always. he was truly larger than life and a gift to us all. we will never forget him and pray for his family everyday. god bless you tom hearn and your dedication to pro humanitate!
Heather Maier
August 22, 2008 – 09:08 AM
I did not have the pleasure of knowing Dr. Hearn personally but the stature and reputation of Wake, in many areas, are proof of his achievement. My thoughts are with the Hearn family.
Scott Tewell
August 22, 2008 – 09:35 AM

Dr. Hearn was inspiring from the moment I first heard him speak on accepted students day in April 1999. His topic that day was “The Place of the Christian College in the 21st Century.” Only years later would I learn that it was taken from the topic of a speech by a former president of Wake Forest in the early 20th century, a fact I’m sure that was lost on the thousands sitting in Wait Chapel on that beautiful spring day.

Dr. Hearn reflected deeply on matters of history, religion, and philosophy, and I never tired of hearing him speak. Even today I keep copies of his speeches and reread them whenever I’m searching for new insight. He was a wonderful president and it was a privilege to have been a student during his tenure. He will be truly missed.

Will Clough ’03
August 22, 2008 – 10:16 AM

To the Hearn and entire WFU family,

My thoughts and prayers are definitely with you. Dr. Hearn definitely had an impact on all who knew and had the pleasure of working with him.

Andrea M. Jones ’07

Andrea M. Jones
August 22, 2008 – 12:06 PM

Our prayers are with you.

Though I am one of many who were fortunate enough to cross paths with Dr Hearn, his vision and compassion for Wake Forest have continued to be a source of inspiration.

Fran DeChurch
August 22, 2008 – 04:46 PM
To Dr. Hearn’s son, Tom: James Brooks and I send our heartfelt sympathy in the passing of your father. Surely, you were a great blessing to him and will cherish many memories of your part in his wonderful life. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family during this difficult time. Joy Heath Thomas, Thomas & Brooks, PLLC
Joy Heath Thomas
August 22, 2008 – 08:37 PM
Mrs. Hearn & Family, From Dr. Hearn’s “Charge to the Graduates, Commencement 2001” in conclusion his words were “love is not a feeling, not an emotion, but a way of living. Feelings come and go but those who practice love know that its requirement is that we live in compassionate regard for every life we contact.” Dr. Hearn came in contact with many and these words were evident from those who knew him best. We sincerely appreciate his service to WFU and will always remember. Our thoughts are with you and your family.
Guy and Virginia Carswell
August 23, 2008 – 09:18 AM
Dr. Hearn was a great person and I am thankful to have known him.
Sebastian Ehreiser
August 23, 2008 – 08:45 PM

This week, I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of President Hearn. I had the pleasure of working with him as the Student Trustee from 2002 to 2003.

TK was a man who never stopped working for the betterment of Wake Forest University. He spoke often of students and graduates taking our liberal arts education, the opportunities provided us by Wake Forest and living up to the University’s motto: Pro Humanitate, a motto he too lived out every day of his life.

TK will be missed immensely, but all of his efforts, all of his work, all of the energy he gave to propel Wake Forest into the 21st century will never be forgotten. May he rest forever in peace, knowing that his life truly was for the good of humanity.

Sean Prince
August 24, 2008 – 12:14 AM

I had the honor of performing in a gala of Gilbert and Sullivan music for President Hearn during my senior year. I played the Major General from The Pirates of Penzance, which he told me had always been a favorite role of his. I’ll never forget what he told me after the performance was over. We had brought him joy for that evening and allowed him to forget about everything he was suffering through at the time.

That gala was one of the highlights of my Wake Forest experience. I still think that that performance was perhaps the greatest feat I had ever accomplished; brining someone that much happiness, even as temporary as it was.

Patrick Walsh ’05
August 24, 2008 – 01:07 PM
Dr. Hearn was a transformational leader for Wake Forest University during his long and successful tenure, and will certainly be missed. I still remember coming to campus as a freshman and listening to him speak about the new college experience. He challenged our class to “try new things” and to “push yourself out of that comfort zone.” I never forgot those words during my four years, and tried my best to take them to heart. I was so impressed with his love and admiration for the university and its traditions. Upon meeting him, my parents knew that Wake Forest was a special place because of the personable faculty and many different opportunities. That was a direct reflection on his leadership and strong rapport with people. We would like to send our depest regrets to Dr. Hearn’s family.
Nicholas S. Newcomb, ’08
August 25, 2008 – 08:38 AM
As I read the comments about Tom’s influence and personal involvement with persons over many years, I am thankful to God for his life and how it touched so many for good.
I met Tom at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where we were students in 1961 and was delighted to learn that we were distant cousins. I followed his career with interest and appreciation but without surprise.To Tom’s family: my condolences and my thanks for what you did to help make Tom’s life a beacon of inspiration. Matt Patton
Matthew H. Patton
August 25, 2008 – 09:23 AM
I am a friend of Dr. Hearn’s son, Tom. My thoughts and prayers are with all that knew and loved this generous and wonderful man. Dr. Hearn’s life was rich and he gave so much to all around him. He will be remembered, I am sure, for many, many years.
Carole Guinane
August 25, 2008 – 12:49 PM
I am a friend of Dr. Hearns son Tom,
It was with great sorrow that I heard about the passing of such a learned and accomplished man. Truly Dr. Hearn made historically accomplishments during his tenure at WFU, accomplishments which will influence students and faculty long after his passing.
God rest his soul.
Joe Venturelli
August 25, 2008 – 02:35 PM
I am grateful for the wonderful education I received at Wake Forest University during Dr. Hearn’s presidency. I remember speaking with President Hearn when he was walking through Reynolda Hall, usually near the Pit (dining hall). You could tell he loved his work. He’d always ask how things were going with studies. May the family find comfort in this time.
David Smith (’88)
August 26, 2008 – 09:44 AM
Solo ora abbiamo saputo della grave perdita! Conserviamo vivo il ricordo del nostro incontro a Roma con il Presidente Hearn e la sua gentile signora Laura.
Era il mese di novembre 1998 e nostro figlio Christian, che tanto aveva amato la Wake Forest (anni 94-97), era da poco deceduto.
La sua sensibilità, la signorilità e il suo affetto rimarranno sempre impressi nel nostro cuore.
Adriana e Franco Cappelluti
August 26, 2008 – 11:27 AM
With especial memories of our master builder and master leader of Wake Forest.
Caroline Sandlin Fullerton, Emeriti Faculty
August 26, 2008 – 11:28 AM
In deepest sympathy
Susan, Richard & Colin Fullerton
August 26, 2008 – 09:33 PM
I offer my sympathy to the family and friends of Dr. Hearn, Jr. He will be missed greatly by all who knew and loved him.
Chris Philippart, MD
August 26, 2008 – 10:56 PM
My husband and I are saddened to hear the news about Dr. Hearn. He brought Wake Forest to a new level and national recognition. Our prayers go out to Mrs. Hearn and her family. He will be missed by many.
Brenda Corrie Kuehn (’86)
August 27, 2008 – 08:20 PM
I will always remember how impressed I was with a speech Dr. Hearn made in October of 2003 at Parents’ Weekend when my son, Kevin Crowley, was a freshman. I could tell he genuinely loved the students at Wake and felt a true responsibility in helping them realize their dreams and goals. What a remarkable man. God grant you eternal peace and happiness, Dr. Hearn!
Debbie Crowley
August 27, 2008 – 08:25 PM
I am deeply saddened to learn of President Hearn’s passing. He was a pillar of strength and compassion. I have incredibly fond memories of frequently passing him on the quad and being met with an enthusiastic hello and welcome smile. He will be greatly missed.
Katherine S. Cates (’02 BA, ’08 MAED)
August 28, 2008 – 10:02 AM
We will greatly miss the presence of
one of Wakes greatest contributors.
Pam Goforth
August 28, 2008 – 05:19 PM

I was Old Gold and Black editor Dr. Hearn’s second year as president; needless to say we gave him a terrible time every week on the editorial pages, but he always took it in stride. Several years after I graduated, I returned to work at Wake Forest. When I saw him for the first time after returning, he said something like “you’re lucky I have a short memory.” But he laughed and all was forgiven.

It was a privilege to work at Wake Forest during his tenure and to see all the growth and positive changes that took place. Recent graduates and students may not fully understand or appreciate how far Wake Forest came during his presidency, but he will go down as one of Wake Forest’s great presidents.

For the last year, I had the honor of working with him on his book of Commencement speeches, “On this day of endings and beginnings,” that was published shortly before his death. Those speeches really give a wonderful insight into him as a person. I was looking forward to future projects with him, and will miss him. My deepest sympathies to Laura Hearn and his family, and to his longtime assistant, Carolyn Dow.

Kerry M. King (’85)

Kerry M. King
August 28, 2008 – 11:36 PM
So much of WFU’s successes can be attributed to President Hearn’s hard work. He is greatly missed. Our prayers are with his family.
Kyle and Noelle Cutts
September 05, 2008 – 10:40 PM
Laura, I just heard about the passing of your husband, and I just want you to know how deeply sorry I am to hear about it. I know that he was a wonderful man, and my thoughts and my prayers are with you and your family. He will be greatly missed by you and those many people whose life he touched over the years.
I just wanted you to know that you and your family are in my thoughts and my prayers as you go through this difficult time.
May Angels watch over all of you!
Elna Riley Brendel
Elna Brendel
September 08, 2008 – 04:42 PM
The family of Dr. Hearn will remain in my thoughts and prayers for much time to come as they grieve the loss of such a special person. The Wake Forest Family will also grieve the great loss of Dr. Hearn who was passionate about his love for the University and its commitment to so many aspects of the journey of living.
Gin Reid Blair Hall,’77
November 26, 2008 – 02:40 PM
Dr. Hearn and I had a complex relationship. He disliked being photographed (this is putting it mildly), but of course it was part of my job to photograph him as often as possible. And I would do my job, until he gave me “the look,” and then I would move on to a different subject. It worked out surprisingly well, actually. I enjoyed the thrill of the hunt, always looking for a good photo without spooking him too much. (There was a magazine cover from several years ago, with a very tight shot of Dr. Hearn taken at a reception in the Green Room. I was very pleased when I showed him the cover, and he said he had no idea that I was taking his picture that day.) I am reminded of Dr. Hearn every day when I look at my bulletin board, for I have a photo of the two of us taken at his last Commencement — I finally got someone else to hold the camera for a minute. I do miss him.
Ken Bennett