Winston-Salem and Wake Forest University officials agreed today to keep the Lawrence Joel name and veterans memorial designation on the coliseum facade and on the marquee as part of any sale of the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum to Wake Forest.
This is in addition to Wake Forest’s previous agreement to name the lobby and the adjacent veterans’ monuments as the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Lobby and Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Plaza.
Wake Forest University has agreed to include these provisions into recorded deed restrictions approved with any sale. The restrictions would apply to the permanent sign at the current main entrance, to any replacement marquee and to the current coliseum building, where Joel’s name is carved in the stone facade above the box office.
Joel, an Army medic during the Vietnam War, was the first living African American to receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in battle since the Spanish American War. He also received a Silver Star. The veterans memorial outside the coliseum recognizes all Forsyth County veterans killed service to their country.
The city has the right to consider future enhancements to the veterans memorial and to explore other ways to recognize Lawrence Joel’s and all veterans’ contributions to Winston-Salem, either at the coliseum or as a stand-alone memorial. Wake Forest has agreed to donate up to one acre at the coliseum site for this purpose if the City Council elects to create an new veterans memorial. Wake Forest may pursue naming rights, but the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial designation will remain on the facade and marquee.
Mayor Allen Joines said, “The Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial name will continue to be etched in stone at the coliseum, and the recognition that the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Lobby and Plaza remains on this property illustrates the city’s and Wake Forest University’s commitment to the heritage and legacy of Mr. Joel and our veterans.”
Council Member and Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian H. Burke, who voted to name the coliseum for Joel in 1986, said, “I have made it clear that the city’s commitment to addressing concerns about how Mr. Joel will be recognized was unwavering and would not be compromised. I am pleased our voice has been heard.”