“This truth hurts,” Wingate President Rhett Brown said in the statement. “It casts a shadow over our university, my alma mater, and is not in keeping with who we are today, what we value and how we strive to be more inclusive for the students who study here and the people who work here.”
Washington Manly Wingate was never actually involved with his namesake university. A preacher and professor, Wingate was the fourth president of Wake Forest University, serving from 1853 to 1862 and again after the Civil War from 1866 until his death in 1879.
In 2018, Wingate University asked three employees to look into whether any buildings, monuments or statues were named after people with “egregious” pasts, but the search came up empty, the university said.
Brown, the Wingate University president, said he recently learned about this slave-selling past in a phone call with Hatch.
“Knowing that the stain of past transgressions can never be eliminated and that the debt to people of color can never be repaid, Wingate University officials do believe this deeply upsetting news can serve as an opportunity for reflection, reconciliation and growth,” Wingate University said in its statement.