The family of Betty Jo Beeson Fitzpatrick ’50 recently gave $10,000 to the Wake Forest University English Department in support of the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series and the department’s Creative Writing program. This generous gift honors Betty Jo Beeson Fitzpatrick’s lifelong love of literature and learning. After graduating from Wake Forest College with an English major in 1950, she enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Public Schools as a teacher of English, French, and Latin at South Fork High School, Kernersville High School, and East Forsyth High School. She later served as a guidance counselor at East Forsyth High School, Parkland High School, and Glenn High School. Betty Jo Beeson Fitzpatrick always advocated for education, especially literature, as the pathway to tolerance, compassion, kindness, and equality — values she felt were central to the joy of living.
This gift enables the Creative Writing program to invite a writer of national significance to the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series in 2018-19. The writer will hold student workshops and read from his or her work in a public reading at which we will honor the legacy of Betty Jo Beeson Fitzpatrick. The English Department is grateful to her family for giving us this opportunity to continue to nurture in our students the love of literature that so enriched Betty Jo Beeson Fitzpatrick’s life.