A friend of a friend-Harold Tribble-D.E Ward-September 25

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for September 25, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

If you live in Lumberton, NC you probably need no introduction to D.E Ward. Or maybe you do. If you have never met D.E you don’t know what an amazing man and what an amazing life he has lived and how he has served others.

Dr. Ward is 94 years young. On January 31, 2011, a month after his 90th birthday, Dr. Ward retired from the practice of medicine after 57 years of service to Lumberton, NC. After graduating from Wake Forest School of Medicine, Dr. Ward interned for a year at the Philadelphia General Hospital, and then served our country in the U.S. Navy Reserve. After returning to Wake Forest and finishing his residency, Dr. Ward became a surgeon in Lumberton in 1953, where he has lived since.

Picture below is D.E third from left attending a Wake Forest Alumni event in Lumberton, NC

D.E Ward Early years

I am proud to say that I live on the same street as D.E. and his wife Sarah.

Picture of D.E at his home.

D.E Ward Home

Over the 57 years he practiced medicine his patients (including my own son), employees, and colleagues praise him as courteous, professional, kind, and one of the best doctors and best people they know. They also will tell you that he truly cared about making our world a better place.

I loved the fact that Dr. Ward volunteered for 22 years as Lumberton High School’s football, baseball, and basketball team doctor. In 2008 I called him up and asked him if he wanted to come out and watch the NCAA Softball Regionals that UNC Pembroke was hosting. He agreed to come out and while he was watching the game he told me how much he enjoyed doing that for the coaches and kids.

D.E. also has been recognized by numerous civic and medical organizations for his contributions, including receiving the Order of the Long Leaf Pine–North Carolina’s highest civilian honor–in 2001 and the Wake Forest Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004. He is a regular fixture at Lumberton Rotary Club meetings each Tuesday afternoon. I am hoping in a couple of weeks when the Rotary Club comes to UNC Pembroke for a weekly meeting I will be able to catch up with him.

rotary image

When someone serves a community for seven decades it is hard to list everything that they have done. I am going to try to summarize.

Dr. Ward has devoted more than a half-century to the American Cancer Society (ACS). His devotion to cancer treatment began in 1952 as the recipient of a National Cancer Research Grant at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Since then, he has served with the ACS as president of the Roberson County Unit, president of the North Carolina Division and as the North Carolina delegate to the national ACS.

He has served on the board of trustees of the North Carolina Cancer Institute, where he was president for 15 years and currently chairs the executive committee. He was also appointed to the Governor’s Cancer Commission.

In addition, D.E, who is a life trustee for Wake Forest, has served on several professional associations, including the North Carolina Medical Society and the alumni associations of both Wake Forest and the Wake Forest School of Medicine. He is a past trustee of the North Carolina Children’s Homes Inc. and Campbell University.

D.E commitment isn’t just to Lumberton he has a great affection for Wake Forest and he has passed that down to his family. His sons Demming and David are graduates of Wake Forest and the School of Medicine and the School of Law respectively. Four of his grandchildren have all attended Wake Forest.

The Friend-D.E WARD

D.E Ward Bio

The Friend of the Friend-HAROLD W. TRIBBLE-shown with Winston-Salem Campus behind him.

Harold-Tribble Wake Campus

The man that moved Wake Forest

Today we read a lot about controversies that occur on college campuses. Many people forget that the Wake Forest College that Dr. D.E Ward attended is not located in the same place that Wake Forest University calls home today. The president that moved Wake Forest University from Wake Forest, NC to Winston-Salem, NC in 1956 was Harold Tribble.

President Tribble, a prominent minister and theologian, was “fit for battle” when he was named president in 1950, although he probably underestimated the battles that lay ahead. He would need every bit of fortitude to survive attacks from Baptist leaders, alumni, trustees and students over athletics, dancing on campus, civil rights, governance issues, and lingering resentment over the decision to move the college to Winston-Salem. But Tribble was his own man, who never backed down from doing what he thought was right to move Wake Forest into a new era.

The above came from the link below:


Ground-breaking ceremonies for the new campus were held on October 15, 1951, and a crowd of more than 20,000 watched President Harry S. Truman lift the first shovel of dirt to begin construction.

Harold Tribble Harry Truman

Between 1952 and 1956 fourteen buildings were erected on the campus and the actual removal of the College to its new home was accomplished in time for the opening of the summer session in 1956.

In his 17-year term as president of the school, assets increased from about $10.5 million to more than $91 million and the number of students grew from 1,750 to more than 3,000.

Dr. Tribble’s first task when he took over the presidency was to move the school from Wake Forest to Winston-Salem. The move was made to the new $19.5 million campus in 1956.

Wake Forest assumed university status on June 18, 1967, 12 days before Dr. Tribble retired.

One of the special students that came out of the original Wake Forest campus was D.E Ward. One of the people who has done much for others is D.E Ward. I am sure that President Harold Tribble would be proud that someone who came from that original campus helped transform a lot of lives.

One comment

  1. […] Dr Taylor had read a post I had written in 2015 on Dr. D.E Ward […]

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