Winston-Salem Difference Makers-President Lorraine Sterritt and Bert Lain

In addition to celebrating Winston-Salem natives that have moved on to do significant things outside of Winston, this blog will also celebrate local people who make a difference currently in Winston-Salem. 

I have had the pleasure of working with three great presidents during my decade at Salem College. In 2014, President Lorraine Sterritt was hired as the 20th president of Salem Academy and College. In our two hundred and forty-four year history, it is hard to imagine that this historic institution has only had twenty presidents!

When President Sterritt first walked onto campus, you could feel a breath of fresh air right off the bat. The Ireland native immediately made her mark on Salem and the Winston-Salem community as she was named one of the Triad’s Most Influential People by Triad Business Journal (November of 2015). President Sterritt and Salem are in the middle of The Women of Purpose campaign to help with faculty support and academic programs, infrastructure and technology, scholarships, and financial stability (Women of Purpose website). She also travels the country on the Salem Ever tour, where she meets with alumnae and friends who have committed themselves to Salem’s success. During her short time at Salem, the department of admissions has welcomed the largest class in school history and a new apartment style residence hall, The McHugh Sisters Flats, has been constructed.


Twenty eight and a half years ago, President Sterritt met Bert Lain in Chatham, Virginia. The two have worked at prestigious colleges all over the country together like Princeton, Penn, Stanford, and most recently, Harvard.

In the soccer world, famous players like Pele and Messi are just known by one name. Bert has made such an impact that you can simply say Bert to anybody on campus and their face will light up. It is impossible to walk through campus without seeing him talking to a student or faculty/staff member. He is also one of the biggest supporters of our athletic department. In fact, our new tennis center is named the Bert Lain Tennis Center.

Below you will find out why President Sterritt and Bert have enjoyed their time so far in North Carolina, and some of their favorite parts of Winston-Salem:

 Winston-Salem Questions:

Before I ask any questions about Winston, I have a pressing question that I have always wondered about: You two both have a history of teaching Latin. Do you ever find yourselves speaking to each other in the classical language?

Occasionally we lapse into Latin!

You two have lived all over the United States. What are some things that are unique to Winston-Salem that you two have really enjoyed?
Knowing so many people everywhere we go in Winston-Salem; being in a city that has so much and is so easy to get around.

What is your favorite season of the year in Winston-Salem?


Did you ever imagine that you would live on a street that literally feels like you are two hundred years back in time? What is your favorite part about living in Old Salem?Absolutely love the history. Love being in a quiet area within a vibrant city.

President Sterritt: Is there anywhere in Winston-Salem that reminds you of Ireland?The Salem soccer field.

Bert: Besides any Salem athletic event, is there a sporting event in the area that you would really like to see?
A Carolina Panthers game and a Duke vs. UNC basketball game

You all have worked at prestigious schools such as Princeton, Stanford, Penn, and Harvard. What are some areas of Salem College that stand out from where you have worked together before?
A smaller institution gives you a very strong sense of community. We love that we know so many people.

If you two were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which Winston-Salem delight would you choose: Moravian sugar cake, Bojangles biscuits, or Krispy Kreme doughnuts?
Moravian sugar cake

What are your top three Winston-Salem restaurants to go to together?
Mozelle’s, Noble’s, Rotisserie Chicken Factory

What would be your ideal date night in Winston-Salem?
Movie at a/perture, dinner at Noble’s.

Would you two rather go to Hanes Mall or to Thruway?
We like both.

Where is your favorite day trip outside of Winston?
Chapel Hill

Have you been on any vacations in North Carolina during your time here? If so, where was your favorite North Carolina trip outside of Winston? Is there anywhere in the State you two hope to visit?
Asheville, Chapel Hill, Pine Knoll Shores, Duck, Wilmington, Boone, Blowing Rock, Highlands.
Loved all of them.
Hope to see more of the coast.

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