Cheerful greeting, glowing smile

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Imagine you were once a prospective student who had traveled many miles for a spring visit to Wake Forest. You were probably weary and possibly wary.

You drove down the daffodil-lined road entering campus, through the forest of Wake, and made a right into the parking lot of the Welcome Center. You walked through the door, parents in tow, not knowing where to go or what to do next.

And then you were embraced by the graciousness of Alice Webster, a petite woman with a cheerful greeting and glowing smile. Welcome to Wake Forest.

For many years Alice, as the unofficial goodwill ambassador of the Reynolda Campus, personified the Wake Forest spirit of friendliness and warmth. A worldly woman and gifted conversationalist, she took a personal interest in each guest, particularly the ones who might be future Deacons. She was the source for information about campus tours and restaurants, but she also provided encouragement and reassurance to those on the verge of a very big decision.

She died on Jan. 4 at the age of 85. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, at First Baptist Church on Fifth Street in Winston-Salem. Visitation is 5 -7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, at Salem Funeral Home on Reynolda Road.

“Alice’s license plate read ‘WFU INFO’ but during her years at the Welcome Center and at the Information Desk she offered visitors far more than simply Wake Forest info,” said Martha Blevins Allman (’82, MBA ’92), dean of admissions. “She was remarkably knowledgeable about all things Wake Forest, and her gracious hospitality was the perfect introduction to the community.”

Alice was a Connecticut native of Lebanese descent whose ties to the University spanned 40 years and four presidents. In addition to her role at the Welcome Center, she was active in the Wake Forest University Club and was an editor of the club cookbook.

Her husband, the late James A. Webster Jr., was a distinguished writer and professor in the law school. To this day a graduating law student who displays the greatest proficiency in property and real estate transactions is honored with a faculty award in his name. She adored talking about him and their children, Dean, Marc and Gloria.

A global traveler, Alice was a student of art and culture who spoke Arabic and Portuguese. She was the first woman invited to join the Winston-Salem Lions Club and was named a Melvin Jones Fellow by the Lions Club International Foundation.

Wherever she went, she spread the good word about a place special to her heart. “I have a deep love for Wake Forest,” she would say, “and I wish to serve in any way I can.”

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