Hall of Fame Member Dr. Jack Sawyer Passes Away
Dr. Jack Sawyer

July 16, 2013

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Wake Forest faculty member and Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Jack Sawyer passed away this week in Winston-Salem.

Sawyer served as Faculty Athletic Chairman for Wake Forest for 28 years and was one of those behind-the-scenes figures who exercised a great deal of influence on the Demon Deacon athletic program on all levels.

When asked by former Wake Forest president Harold Tribble in 1960 to serve as Faculty Chairman of Athletics, Sawyer responded by asking, "What is a Faculty Chairman?" After twenty-eight years of service to Wake Forest University, there are few people with a more distinguished legacy and better understanding of what it took to be a Faculty Chairman than Sawyer.

Earning both his undergraduate and master's degree from Wake Forest College, Sawyer never anticipated that he would return to his alma mater. Six years after receiving his doctorate from the University of Missouri in 1951, Sawyer returned to Wake Forest as a professor in mathematics. Due to his encouraged involvement, the university purchased their first computer. Sawyer soon established the computer science program at Wake Forest, which he went on to teach for many years.

While Sawyer's impact as a professor is respected, his true legacy lies in his influence as the Faculty Chairman of the Athletic Department. Before long, Sawyer was recognized as one of the premiere athletic administrators in the country and expanded his influence beyond Wake Forest. Sawyer served as president of the Atlantic Coast Conference four times and participated in numerous high-profile committees in the NCAA.

After twenty-eight years of service to Wake Forest, Sawyer retired in 1988, but his legacy as both a professor and representative of the athletic department remain. In 1999, the athletic department honored his service by inducting him into the Wake Forest University Sports Hall of Fame.

Visitation is scheduled from 6:00 - 8:00 pm, this Saturday, July 20 at Hayworth Miller Funeral Home on Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem. A funeral is scheduled for 2:00 pm, Sunday, July 21 in Wait Chapel.

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