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Nathan O. Hatch Collection

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Nathan Orr Hatch was a scholar of religious history in America and the thirteenth president of Wake Forest University. He was born May 17, 1946, in Columbia, S.C., to Reverend James M. (Buck) Hatch and Mittie Orr Hatch. Buck Hatch was a professor at Columbia International University (S.C.) and a Presbyterian minister. Buck and Mittie Hatch had four boys together: James Donald, Nathan Orr, David Bradley, and Robert Allen (died 1989).

Hatch completed high school in Columbia, S.C. (1964) and attended Wheaton College in Illinois, graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree (1968). He then attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, for a Master of Arts degree (1972) and PhD (1974). Hatch then held postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University and Johns Hopkins before joining the faculty of University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He served as Professor (1975-2005), Vice President of Graduate Studies and Research (1989-1996), and Provost (1996-2005) at Notre Dame.

In 2005, Dr. Hatch became the thirteenth president of Wake Forest University. During his tenure as president, Wake Forest was ranked 23 in the U.S. News and World Report annual college rankings. He also spearheaded the Wake Will capital campaign which began in 2013 and helped raise $1 billion in funds for the University, including $400 million added to the institution's endowment.

Hatch is the author of eight books, most notably The Democratization of American Christianity (1989), The Search for Christian America (1983), and The Sacred Cause of Liberty: Republican Thought and the Millennium in Revolutionary New England (1977). In addition to his professional work, he engaged with other organizations, serving as board member of American Council on Education, Chair of the N.C.A.A.'s Division I Board of Directors, board chair of National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, board member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and chair and board member of United Way of Forsyth County (N.C.).

Hatch is married to Julie Gregg Hatch; they met while undergraduate students at Wheaton College. She graduated in 1969 and became a public school teacher. Together they have two sons, David and Gregg, and one daughter, Beth.

Selected materials in this collection document the years of Nathan Hatch's presidency at Wake Forest University.