What We Know

Remembering Arnie

September 27, 2016 | by W. Thurston Debnam, Jr.

With the passing of Arnold Palmer, everyone with a Wake Forest University connection has their favorite “Arnie story.” I am no exception.

In the spring of 1969, my best friend from Zebulon (Randy Creech) and I were seniors. We were both married which meant no real glamorous spring break trip.  Instead of a trip, Randy and I went to the old Greater Greensboro Open golf tournament. The first day we went to the tournament we stopped by the post office and discovered our midterm grades had arrived. I left mine in the car. Randy folded his and put the paper in his back pocket. At the golf tournament, we went to the practice tee to see the golfers warm up. Most notably we wanted to see Arnold Palmer. When Arnie completed his practice, Randy removed the folded midterm grade sheet from his back pocket and asked Arnie for an autograph. Of course, Arnie agreed. However, before he would sign the folded piece of paper, he unfolded it and looked at the grades. As he was signing Randy’s midterm grade sheet, Arnie said: “If I had made grades like that I might have actually graduated.” Of course for years now Randy and I jokingly comment about Arnold Palmer’s lack of success due to his failure to obtain an undergraduate degree.

You can read more “Arnie stories” at Wake Forest University’s REMEMBERING ARNOLD PALMER memorial page.

Photo credit: Ken Bennett 

Thurston Debnamwho received his undergraduate and law degrees from Wake Forest University, is one of the founding partners of Smith Debnam and the Section Head of the Business Law practice group. He is certified as a civil Superior Court mediator. Thurston concentrates his practice in the areas of business and corporate planning and real estate law, including land use planning and zoning. For more than thirty years, Thurston has maintained a broad-based business practice, assisting clients with business and corporate planning and handling land development and real property issues and transactions....LEARN MORE

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