To most people, myself included, Arnold Palmer was a larger-than-life figure who hard-charged his way into golfing lore with a swashbuckling style that will never, ever be matched. What some forget sometimes is that a path to national prominence that began in Latrobe continued on at Wake Forest.
Most certainly, The King’s alma mater hasn’t forgotten.
Palmer, a champion golfer for the Demon Deacons before ultimately turning pro, passed away late last month at the age of 87. Thursday, Wake announced that all of the university’s athletic playing facilities, including BB&T Stadium, the football home of the Demon Deacons, “will have Palmer’s distinctive multi-color umbrella logo on or near the playing surface.”
The football team will wear a patch on its jerseys and sticker on its helmets to honor Palmer for the remainder of the year, as well as carry a Palmer umbrella flag as they take the field for every remaining home game. Additionally, the team will honor Palmer with a special ceremony prior to this Saturday’s game against Syracuse.
While Palmer is gone, not only will one of golf’s finest ambassadors be remembered in the coming months at his alma mater, the Wake campus will continue to be littered with reminders of the legend:
Palmer received much recognition on campus during his life. There is one statue on campus and it is of Palmer and is located at the Arnold Palmer Golf Complex. There is an Arnold Palmer Dormitory on campus. Annually, Wake Forest’s Male Student-Athlete of the Year is recognized with the Arnold Palmer Award. And the University’s Traditions Council annually sponsors Arnold Palmer Day on Thursday of Masters Week where the student body is served complimentary Arnold Palmer beverages.