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LMU Alumnus Helps Illuminate Black History at Wake Forest University

Anthony ParentAnthony Parent, Jr. ’73, professor of history at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, believes history is fundamental to understanding who we are as a society and where we are headed.

“It’s hard to understand our lives and society unless we have a correct understanding of the past and it is essential to know how we got here in order to plan for the future,” Parent said.

He credits Loyola Marymount University with providing him with the right tools to be successful in his career. “LMU helped me establish a firm foundation in my liberal arts education and I have been able to build on that foundation ever since,” said Parent, who majored in history and political science.

True to form, Parent will help illuminate Wake Forest’s history when he delivers a convocation on the African-American experience at Wake Forest since the 1960s. The event will take place Feb. 26, which is Founder’s Day at the university.

“I am very excited and honored. It’s a humbling experience trying to get all of the history down. Wake Forest was one of the first schools to desegregate in the South,” Parent said.

Parent’s convocation will highlight prominent individuals, pivotal moments, major events and social trends as Wake Forest addressed desegregation. He will also discuss the success of black students and graduates and their contributions to the university.

“My hope is that students, faculty and staff will walk away with a better understanding of what it means to be African-American at the university,” Parent said.

Parent teaches courses on African-American history, world civilizations, colonial America and the civil rights movement and is the author of “Foul Means: The Formation of a Slave Society in Virginia, 1660-1740.”

LMU has also shaped Parent’s life outside of his career. He made several friends at LMU he is still close with and, in 1970, he met a young woman named Gigi at a social in Bird Nest. They married a year later. In 2003, Parent was inducted into LMU’s Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the 1969 football team.

“It was a wonderful experience. We were jumping up and down like kids. I hadn’t seen some of my former teammates since we graduate more than 30 years ago,” Parent said.

Photo: Anthony Parent, Jr., courtesy of Wake Forest University