The Indescribable Dr. Eure

A chance meeting on the Quad reunited an alumna with her favorite professor.

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I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to see the recent profile in the Summer 2017 Wake Forest Magazine on Dr. Herman Eure (Ph.D. ’74), who won the Medallion of Merit award this year. Like many others, he was my favorite teacher at Wake. I had no idea until reading the article that he had only arrived at Wake Forest a few years before I did. He was my freshman biology teacher in the fall of 1979, and I absolutely adored him.

I do not remember much about the class, but I do remember our class field trip finding leaves on a walk in Reynolda Gardens that fall and frantically trying to finish our fetal pig lab project before the Lovefeast and Winter Break. Both finding fall leaves and the Lovefeast were totally new experiences for this Miami girl.

Professor of Biology Herman Eure, who retired earlier this year.

There was just something indescribable about Dr. Eure. He was kind, funny, personable and very approachable. Even though this was my only science requirement, it was by far my most memorable class at Wake.

Two years ago, in March 2015, I attended the first Wake Women’s Weekend. Late Friday afternoon before the evening event, I took a walk on the very empty Quad to reminisce and just breathe in all the memories from my time spent there. Coming towards me was a distinguished gentleman, and I knew it was Dr. Eure.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to reintroduce myself to him and tell him in person how much I loved having him as my teacher over 30 years ago. He was on his way to a minority scholarship meeting, and I wish I could have spent hours talking with him.

Denise Skelton (second from left) with her son Park (left), daughter Caroline, husband Bob and son Connor.

He very much reminds me of Sidney Poitier and his character in “To Sir, with Love,” one of my favorite movies. Again, that indescribable individual — graceful, elegant, poised, approachable and caring — someone you are just drawn to and know is one of a kind. That is my Dr. Eure, and I am SO very glad that I’m not the only one who recognized that.

Kudos to the magazine for shining a very deserving spotlight on him!

Denise Coogler Skelton (’83) majored in speech communication. She is a senior account executive with Broadspire and lives in Alpharetta, Georgia.

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