Oral History Interview with John Wilson, December 8, 1995
Wilson, John Delane
Warren, Mame (Mary Elizabeth)
Washington and Lee University. Fancy Dress Ball
Washington and Lee University. Mock Convention
Greek letter societies
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John Delane Wilson was born on Aug. 17, 1931, in Lapeer, Mich, and died on March 2, 2013, in Lexington. He received a B.A. in history from Michigan State University in 1953, where he was a star defensive back for the football team, which won the 1952 national championship. In 1955, he earned an M.A. in English literature from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1965, he earned his Ph.D. in English literature from Michigan State. During his tenure as President (1983-1995), W&L became coeducational, doubled its endowment, renovated its 15 fraternities in what came to be known as the Fraternity Renaissance, and opened the Lenfest Center for the Performing Arts. Wilson's term closed with the implementation of the then-largest capital campaign in W&L history, "On the Shoulders of Giants," which raised $147 million between 1990 and 1995. The funds allowed the construction of the Watson Pavilion and the Duchossois Tennis Center and the transformation of Parmly and Howe Halls into the Science Center. The bulk of the money supported student aid and expanded computer support and academic programs. In 2006, the John and Anne Wilson Hall opened at Washington and Lee. Next door to the Lenfest Center, it is headquarters for the University's departments of art and music. Longtime W&L benefactors Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest ‘53, ‘55L gave a major gift to name the building in honor of President Emeritus and Mrs. Wilson.