OKelly Library

Whitaker Gymnasium

Whitaker Gymnasium

Whitaker Gymnasium

Construction Date: 1953

Named For: John Clarke Whitaker

This 500,000 cubic feet structure was constructed in 1953. It contains office space, a gymnasium, locker rooms, storage, and classrooms. The building is named for John Clarke Whitaker, a longtime Winston-Salem State University Board of Trustee member. Whitaker attended Guilford College for two years and later transferred to the University of North Carolina, where he graduated in 1912.

After graduation, Whitaker found work at Reynolds Tobacco Company as a machine operator. He was promoted from foreman to superintendent shortly before volunteering for military service in the navy during World War I. Whitaker returned to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco after the war to organize its personnel office. He served RJR in this capacity for twenty-nine years, and then in 1949 became president of the company. In 1951, he was elected Chairman of the Board, and in 1958, the company's new manufacturing plant, Whitaker Park, was named in his honor. Whitaker retired from R.J. Reynolds in 1960 and died in 1978.

Winston-Salem State University

601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Winston-Salem, NC 27110

Phone: (336) 750-2000

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