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Roger Mayhew ('68)
Not long after he retired to Winston-Salem from Atlanta, Roger Mayhew ('68) joined Pine Brook Country Club hoping to find some other regulars for a round of golf. The golf pro suggested he might enjoy playing with a group of other retirees who played several times a week.
He was pleasantly surprised to find that the group included several retired Wake Forest professors, among them Henry Stroupe ('35, MA '37) of history, whom he remembered as the father of one of his basketball teammates, David Stroupe ('68); his former physics teacher, Jack Williams; John Earle ('58) of sociology; Carlton Mitchell ('43) of religion; and retired vice president and treasurer John Williard; along with Reynolds Professor of Physics Richard Williams ('68), one of his classmates. It's those kinds of Wake Forest connections that make Mayhew glad that he returned to Winston-Salem in 2000.
It was family connections to Wake Forest that brought him back when he and his wife, Susann, were contemplating where they wanted to live after he retired. All three of their children are Wake Forest alumni and were still in school or living nearby when they moved, although each has since moved on: Marc ('95, MD '01), who is completing his cardiology fellowship at the University of Alabama-Birmingham; Robyn Wallace ('99), a former middle school teacher who lives in Columbia, Md.; and Emily Groninger ('02), a financial analyst who lives in Alexandria, Va., with her husband, Greg ('02).
"While we liked Atlanta and had a lot of friends there, we wanted a slower lifestyle," says Mayhew, who has since returned to work as controller for Charles D. Lowder Inc., a site-development company in Winston-Salem. "Our kids and all of our immediate family were in North Carolina, so Winston-Salem was pretty much a slam dunk. Every time we came up to visit the kids, we scouted out the housing scene to see what was available." (It was Robyn who ultimately pointed them in the right direction; after a class dinner at the home of her religion professor, Charles Kimball, she recommended his neighborhood.)
A native of Lexington, N.C., Mayhew graduated from Wake Forest with a degree in mathematics and worked in managerial positions in accounting, finance, and information systems with Southern Bell/AT&T/Bell South for 31 years, the last 15 in Atlanta. "Winston-Salem has one of everything that Atlanta has-except the Atlanta Braves," he says. "It's just the perfect size city, a comfortable place to live, and plenty to do regardless of what your interests are."
Mayhew, who was president of the Atlanta-area alumni club, was surprised to learn that there wasn't an alumni club in Winston-Salem, but now he understands. "So much goes on here anyway," he says. "If you're going to football games in the fall, basketball games during the winter and baseball games in the spring, it's a year-round thing. You don't have to go out of your way to make the Wake Forest connection on a regular basis. You can't go far in this town without running into someone with a Wake Forest connection, and that's a good thing."
— Kerry M. King ('85)
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