Going Away and Coming Back 1959-1961
Ed and Jean lived in Winston-Salem from 1956-1959, and their first daughter Carolyn was born in 1957. In 1959, they returned to Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, for Ed to finish his Divinity degree. They left Wake Forest College not knowing if they would ever return.
In May of 1960, Ed graduated from Southeastern. The family then moved further away — to New York City for Ed to study one year at Union Theological Seminary. He had received a Danforth Scholarship.
The year in New York, 1960-61, was a richly enjoyable one for Ed, Jean, and Carolyn, yet Ed was never far from the Wake Forest fold. J. Allen Easley, chairman of the Religion Department, wrote this letter on February 28, 1961, about the possibility of his return:
“Dear Ed, I am indeed glad to know that you are considering the possibility of returning to Wake Forest as BSU Director. I am sure you could render an excellence service here as you have done in the past. I would like be delighted to see you come back, and I assure you I would try to be of all possible help. You know our needs and our particular eccentricities…”
Dr. Edwin G. Wilson, Dean of Wake Forest, wrote on March 1, 1961:
“The Chaplain has just told me that he has offered you the job here as BSU director. I write now simply to tell you how much I, personally and officially, hope you will accept…
“You know how much all of us who are your friends here like you and admire you for the good work you did with the students when you were here before. … someone like you is badly needed in our campus religious programs. No one who is here now is quite in a position to reach the students in the way that they must somehow be reached if Wake Forest’s position as a “Christian college” is to have real meaning … Certainly there is a job to be done here, and it is a job few people I know are qualified to undertake. You are one of these few, I believe.”
Dr. Robert “Bob” Johnson Jr., of the Math Department, wrote on March 8, 1961:
“Wake Forest has been too long without your presence, and I sure do wish you would consider returning to the campus as BSU Director if the opportunity presents itself. You’re one of the finest, capable young men I know, and goodness knows we need around here everyone we can get with your ability. Speaking for myself, and I’m sure many more would agree, I really would like to have you back among us.
“Life has taken on a new completion since my wedding last summer. I really hit the jackpot in getting a fine wife, and we’re comfortably situated in Apt 6-G [Faculty apartments]. …
“The most newsworthy item from WFC seems to be the faculty’s resolution urging admission of all qualified students regardless of race. Whether the Trustees will agree is a horse of another color. Our winning the ACC has not gone unnoticed here, tho! Looks like you’ll get to see the Deacons in NYC! …”
Wake Forest Chaplain L.H. “Holly” Hollingsworth made Ed a formal offer to become BSU Director in person. Holly was in New York City for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons’ basketball game in the NCAA Eastern Regionals. Coach Bones McKinney would not travel by airplane and Holly had driven him up for the game. As Ed told the story, Holly and Bones found him in the the Union library and asked him to come back to Wake Forest in the fall. “Certainly!” was his delighted response.
And the Wake Forest basketball team? Fans will remember that this was the team with Len Chappell and Billy Packer. The Deacons soundly defeated St. John’s at Madison Square Garden in NYC. They next traveled to Charlotte and beat third-ranked St. Bonaventure before losing to St. Joseph’s. In the following season, 1961-1962, the Demon Deacons went all the way to the final four, defeating UCLA for the third place finish.
Baptist Campus Minister and Assistant Chaplain, 1961-1968
Ed and Jean moved back to Winston-Salem in 1961, and Ed resumed his work as Baptist Campus Minister, which had been filled in the interim by Bob Knott. Soon, Ed had a new title and an expanded role in the college as Assistant Chaplain. The family settled in Apartment 2-D of the Wake Forest Faculty Apartments. Ed and Jean’s second daughter Kim was born in 1962.
The years that followed were a lively time for the family and for all of the Wake Forest community. This is a picture of Ed’s 37th birthday in 1966.
The Faculty Apartments
The Faculty Apartments were at this time a thriving community of both young faculty families and retired faculty who became friends and surrogate family for their young neighbors. The spacious and bright apartments, stately magnolia trees and generous yards were a backdrop for the rising intellectual energy on the campus created by the many new, young faculty members. Strong friendships were also being formed.
Jean remembers this community feeling among the young couples. Bill and Mary Lou Cobb and John and Marilyn Roberts were among their friends during these years. One weekend, they came to the Christman apartment for Sunday lunch and ended up visiting and conversing until 5am the next morning.
The Christman family was also close to the Vera and Janelle Brown family and the Frank and Kathleen Hasty family, neighbors in Building 2. These wonderful families became “local” grandparents and doted on Carolyn and Kim.
Religious and Academic Life on Campus
The campus was vibrant with the hum of expansion and excitement. Enrollment had increased by 85% between 1957 and 1964. The graduate division, suspended in 1950, was reestablished in 1961 for six departments — Biology, Chemistry, English, History, Mathematics, and Physics.
In 1961, Ed was 32 years old. He had an easy rapport with students. He loved introducing them to the breadth of what the campus had to offer, both academically and spiritually, and to watch them grow.
Richard Mallory ’65: “I arrived on campus in the Fall of 1961 to attend the Baptist Student Union Pre-School Retreat just prior to freshman orientation. I had no idea of what I was entering. As green as green could be, I had never even seen Wake Forest until that moment. Ed had invited three different thinkers, each representing a different stream of Christian theology. One was a liberal from Duke Divinity School; another, a religion professor from UNC-Chapel Hill holding forth on neo-orthodoxy while the third was the editor of conservative Christianity Today magazine.
“My roots were Alabama Baptist and three years at a preparatory school that sometimes resembled a crucible for thought control. Suddenly I entered this rarefied context of dialogue, probing, challenging and questioning at a camp on the advent of freshman orientation. I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. It was fantastic. Marvelous. Eye-opening.”
One example of the eye-opening events on the campus was a special religious event Ed directed, “Christianity: Force or Farce?” held February 11-15, 1962. This series of seminars addressed questions of the times, such as: Is the church obsolete? No man can serve two masters — how can a college? Christian faith and the crisis of our times; and the crisis of morals.
Three “out of the box” speakers were featured: Dr. Herbert Gezork, German-born president of Andover Newton Theological School who had fled the Nazis in 1936; Mr. Kelly Miller Smith, an African-America pastor from Nashville, Tennessee; and Dr. Robert T. Handy of Union Seminary, a prominent church historian.
While Ed was calling on the religious community to face social realities, he was also reaching out to serve the needs of all the students, including those not of the Baptist faith. In 1963, he garnered office space in the library for part-time campus ministers who represented the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Episcopalian denominations. This was the physical expression of the collaborative Campus Ministry he would create.
Jean also found opportunities on the new campus. She was a member of the Wake Forest College Club, which invited faculty women, faculty wives, and members / wives of the staff to join. (Student wives formed the Student Wives Club.) The club promoted social activities in a range of interest groups and expressed through meetings, meals, and events. She served as President in the mid-1960s.
New leaders on campus: During this time, Wake Forest welcomed many new religious teachers and leaders. Between 1956 and 1963, the Wake Forest Religion Department had added several new faculty members, including G. McLeod Bryan, Dan Via, Bob Dyer, Carlton Mitchell, Charles Talbert, and Phyllis Tribble.
At the Wake Forest Baptist Church, Pastor J. Glenn Blackburn announced his resignation in 1964, after sixteen years of service that spanned two campuses. Reverend Warren Carr, previously pastor at Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham, became the second pastor of the Wake Forest Baptist Church in Winston-Salem.
Under President Tribble, the weekly chapel services were still required of all students. Students were increasingly resistant to compulsory chapel, protesting in a variety of ways including reading newspapers during the services and committing pranks.
Mel Williams ’65: “One of my favorite Ed Christman stories goes back to about 1962 when we had compulsory chapel attendance at Wake Forest. Students protested by sitting in Wait Chapel reading newspapers. When Ed got up to speak, he looked out at all those newspapers and spoke with ringing clarity: ‘Albert Camus has said that humans are interested in two things — sex and reading the newspaper. Since you’re already doing one of those, let’s begin with the other.’ The newspapers came crashing down in a flurry. Then began Ed’s sermon on sex! He got our attention!”
The College and the Convention: Students’ chafing at mandatory chapel was but one example of the dynamic between tradition and change that marked the early 1960s. According to David Fyten (author of the “Pilgrim’s Progress” series about President Tribble, in the Wake Forest Magazine 2006), the six years between 1957 and 1963 might well have been “the most eventful, tumultuous, and pivotal in Wake Forest’s history.”
It began in April 1957, as the Wake Forest Trustees voted to allow dancing on campus for the first time since 1937, when it had been banned by the Baptist State Convention. There was an immediate uproar among Baptist leaders.
Six months later, the Trustees rescinded their decision, but not before the issue of Wake Forest’s questionable morality had become a hot button issue among conservative Baptists and alumni. They railed against President Harold Tribble and lobbied for greater control of Wake Forest, including the Convention’s right of prior approval for any Trustees’ changes to the College’s charter.
President Tribble, who had gotten Wake Forest through the move to Winston-Salem, knew that the college had to control its own destiny — and his required even greater separation from the Convention. An independent Board of Trustees was pivotal. In 1963, the Wake Forest Trustees adopted a Tribble resolution that would permit up to 16 of the 36 Trustees to be non-Baptist or non-North Carolina residents.
The Wake Forest “Trustee Proposal” was put forward to the Baptist State Convention, where it needed two-thirds of the votes cast to be approved. In the months preceding the Convention, President Tribble, Chaplain Hollingsworth, and Assistant Chaplain Christman crisscrossed the state to visit Baptist leaders, local Baptist associations, and churches to lobby for the College’s proposal. In November, the proposal was 194 votes short, out of 2,700 cast, but Ed’s importance was nonetheless appreciated.
President Tribble wrote: “This is to express sincere thanks for the time and effort you gave to visit the associations. I feel your presence there contributed greatly to the significant showing of support at the Convention.”
Chaplain Hollingsworth: “A great deal has been said about who contributed what to our efforts to communicate with the Baptist people and enlist support for the Trustee Proposal. … Let me take this opportunity to express special thanks to you for your assistance, both personally and on behalf of the entire College family. Your visits to the associations I know represented some sacrifice on your part and was, in fact, a mark of your generous willingness to go beyond the call of duty. This is more deeply appreciated than words can say.”
A year later, the proposal was again submitted to the Convention but defeated resoundingly this time. The defeat made the road ahead more clear, even if difficult: 20 years later, Wake Forest University would cut all formal ties to the Convention, becoming formally independent from Baptist control.
The Integration of Wake Forest — First Steps 1959-1961
After the move to Winston-Salem, the most important change for the institution was its integration. Key steps in this process had begun between 1959 and 1961, while Ed and Jean were in New York.
At this time, segregation was the practice at Wake Forest. With or without formal policy (the existence of such policy is unclear), the Admissions office rejected two black applicants for the college year 1958-1959, one from Africa and one from eastern NC. The office also rejected black applicants in 1960.
The majority of students seemed comfortable with this position. In 1957, the student legislature had voted fifteen to five against a resolution asking the board of trustees to admit “any qualified student regardless of his race or color.”
But for some students and faculty, the status quo was no longer tolerable. In the October 1959 issue of Wake Forest’s The Student magazine, editor Jerry Matherly wrote,
“Wake Forest College, if it is to continue to call itself an intellectual and Christian center for education, must integrate… A college must be a place for not only free expression of ideas but also a place where all people desirous of pursuing an education are free to do so. If these attributes do not describe a college, then there is no other description for a college. Wake Forest has won the battle for free expression of ideas; it now must assert that it is a complete educational institution by admitting any qualified applicant regardless of anything so relevant and unimportant as the color of the applicant’s skin… The integration question concerns and challenges the very basis of the college’s purposes and responsibilities.” [Cited in The History of Wake Forest College Volume IV 1943-1967, by Bynum Shaw.]
The fight for integration of public facilities was already underway. On February 23, 1960, a group of ten Wake Forest students, along with twelve black students from Winston-Salem Teachers College (now Winston-Salem State University), were arrested for a sit-in at the F.W. Woolworth lunch counter in downtown Winston-Salem. The students –Linda G. Cohen, Linda Guy, Margaret Ann Dutton, Bill Stevens, Joe Chandler, Don F. Bailey, Paul Watson, Anthony Wayland Johnson, George Williamson, and Jerry Wilson — were likely the first white students in the country arrested in the sit-in movement. They were charged with trespassing and were jailed, bailed out the next day by L.H. Hollingsworth, Mark Reese, and Dan Via.
The students would be celebrated later for their courage, but at the time they received no warm reception from other students back on campus. President Tribble commended the students for their “moral concern and activism,” but along with the rest of the administration, expected them to return to the dorms and classrooms.
When given an opportunity to speak in public, however, Wayland Johnson rose and responded, “I intend to spend the rest of my life rectifying this miscarriage of justice in the American system … I will never be the same again.” [For the full story, see “The Student Sit-In Movement: A 30th Anniversary Reflection,” by Kelly Greene, in The Old Gold and Black, February 23, 1990. This account draws from the memories of Religion Professor G. McLeod Bryan and those of the students.]
This was a spark that inspired, if not the student body, several student leaders. In the next few weeks, The Old Gold and Black called on the Trustees to adopt a “definitive” position on the admission of blacks. The Student Legislature voted nine to four, with five abstaining, to strongly recommend the end of discrimination in admissions.
The faculty appointed a committee, chaired by Religion Professor Allen Easley, to draft its own position on integration. On February 3, 1961, the Wake Forest faculty approved a resolution to the trustees that stated “it is no longer proper to exclude applicants from the student body of Wake Forest College … solely on the basis of race or color.”
The trustees responded to this changing tide by chipping away at their rule of segregation, admitting blacks to graduate school, to evening classes, and to summer school. Yet they maintained the policy of segregation for any student who would earn an undergraduate degree.
The Integration of Wake Forest — 1961 to 1964
This is where things stood when Ed and Jean returned to Wake Forest in the summer of 1961.
While some students were taking direct action, others began the process of what Ed would call the “end run” around the trustees. A group of Baptist Student Union members and other students organized the African Student Program (ASP) about 1960. The idea was to recruit and finance a black African student who would be presented to Wake Forest as a qualified international student, the product of Christian missions.
Glenn Blackburn Jr., the son of the Wake Forest Church pastor, was a leader of this effort. The ASP raised the money for such a student to apply and attend Wake Forest: in 1960, tuition was $2,500.
Frank Wood and Diana Gillian were two of the ASP supporters and also members of the Wake Forest College Bowl team, which went to the national finals in 1960. The team finished second and won $3,000, half of which was donated to the African Student Project. The students described this goal when they were interviewed on television during the contest.
Baptist missionary Harris Mobley was working in Ghana, and it was he who made the connection between the ASP and African student Edward Reynolds, who had received excellent education in secondary school and was well-qualified for any American college.
In April 1961, the trustees voted again to maintain segregation, and Reynolds’ application was rejected. The ASP funds brought Edward to North Carolina anyway, and he enrolled in Shaw University in Raleigh, a black institution. At this time, Shaw was rather “spartan” as Ed recalls, but Edward attended there anyway. He commented later on how the year there gave him an introduction to the black community in North Carolina and to American culture.
During the Shaw spring break (when his dorm was closed), Edward accompanied Ed and a group of Wake Forest students on a trip to New York City. It was on this trip that he met Joseph Clontz, who would become his roommate.
Pressure on the trustees continued. In March 1962, the Wake Forest Baptist Church opened its doors in a resolution that stated:
“We therefore affirm that our invitations to worship, membership, and to service are addressed to all person without regard to race.” The prime mover had been Dr. Allan Easley, who said that the “Christian church cannot in good conscience give religious sanction to this outmoded pattern [segregation].”
The Old Gold and Black wrote a stinging editorial that same spring:
“There is no excuse for the trustees to put off further any action which should have been taken long ago… [If] the trustees fail to integrate the undergraduate facilities, it will be indicative of a backward, narrow-minded outlook which would refute entirely the basic purposes of higher education.” [Cited in The History of Wake Forest College Volume IV, by Bynum Shaw, 1988.]
Finally, on April 27, 1962, the Wake Forest trustees voted 17-9 to abolish segregation at the College. Edward Reynolds would be admitted. Following Mars Hill College and Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, Wake Forest was one of the first major private colleges in the South and in the nation to integrate its student body.
Ed’s Role: Next came the details. Since Edward’s application had been accepted, and he had finished the semester at Shaw, he came to Wake Forest for summer school in 1962, rooming with Barry Dorsey. He also worked on the campus grounds crew. Chaplain Hollingsworth asked Ed to find Edward a group of suitemates for 402 Taylor and a roommate for 402-B. Edward would need friends and supporters among his peers.
Ed asked Joe Clontz, a rising junior from Charlotte and BSU member, to be Edward’s roommate. Joe had met Edward on a spring break trip of Wake Forest students to New York City and enjoyed his company. Despite his family’s resistance, Joe immediately accepted Edward as a friend and roommate, and he was excited about rooming with an international student. He roomed with Edward for junior and senior years of school, and they graduated together.
In addition to Joe, Ed’s recruits to the suite were: Bill Brady, Glenn Clayton, Barry Dorsey, Ross Griffith, Kay Huggins, and Steve Orr. Mel Williams was another member of the “posse” who kept an eye on Edward all the time. He lived on third floor Taylor.
Ross Griffith ’65: “I lived in Ed Reynolds’ suite when he first enrolled at Wake Forest. Ed [Christman] called me in summer 1962 after my freshman year asking me if I would be willing to live in that suite. Thus, I lived in the suite beginning in fall 1962 until he graduated. Related to that situation is the fact my classmates [and football players] Brian Piccolo and John Mackovic were recruiting local black high school football players in 1963-64 and brought them to our suite to spend the night with Edward.”
Joe Clontz remembered later that “Ed Christman and Ed Reynolds were spottable from anywhere on campus — with the white hair and the black skin, you couldn’t miss them.” Edward said later that “Ed Christman was always around like a pastor on call, like a parent who was concerned about you being in this situation.” This was accurate, since Edward avoided physical violence but had to endure ongoing verbal abuse and the incidents wore him down. [John Templeton’s A Tale of Transformation: Integrating Wake Forest College, written for his Divinity degree in 2004, included interviews with the principals.]
In addition to suitemates, Edward had student friends — including Becky Funderburke Brown, Glenn Blackburn Jr, and Frank Wood — and faculty supporters included Mac Bryan, David Smiley, Allan Easley, Dan Via, Robert Gregory, and Carlton Mitchell. The Wake Forest staff, including housekeepers and grounds keepers also were a support system, giving him food and other small gifts.
The other key element of Edward’s support system was the New Bethel Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, and Pastor Jerry Drayon and his family. This vibrant congregation served as a spiritual base and weekend home Edward and a connection to the black community in Winston-Salem.
Edward Reynolds graduated from Wake Forest College in June 1964 to thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Joe Clontz, whose parents had been opposed his rooming with Edward, said later of his father, “I think he realized what I had done, even though he had fought it and resisted it, and had problems with it initially, accepted it finally.” The 50th anniversary of this accomplishment will be celebrated in 2014.
Edward Reynolds went on to Yale University and a distinguished academic career. He even returned to teach summer courses at Wake Forest. Desegregation was accomplished, due to his courage and perseverance, and over the next few years, eight more black students graduated. Questions remained, however, about the difference between desegregation and true integration. These would linger well into the future.
King on campus: Wake Forest had made a little progress, and the College Union invited Martin Luther King to speak on October 11, 1962. King, 34 years old at the time, spoke to an audience of 2,200 in Wait Chapel. This speech gained renewed attention in 2010, when an audio copy of it was discovered in the library collection. The speech was digitized, transcribed, and was made available online in January 2011.
Wake Forest professors Susan Faust and John Llewellyn studied the speech and noted several images and themes that would be refined in the August 1963 “I have a dream speech,” considered King’s masterpiece.
Professors Faust and Llewellyn also described the context on campus for the speech. They drew from an archived letter written by President Tribble on October 16 in response to criticism for King’s invitation:
“I can well understand how some people would object to some of the speakers invited by the students. In fact, there is difference of opinion among the students. They do not invite speakers on the basis of agreeing with their points of view, but rather on the basis of what these speakers may be thinking and saying and doing that may be significant in the contemporary period. it is also noteworthy that Mr. King is a Baptist minister. His message drew significantly from the Bible.” [See Faust and Llewellen, “Martin Luther King Address at Wake Forest University, October 1962.]
Engaging the Winston-Salem Community
In the early 1960s, the Wake Forest campus seemed a long way from the city of Winston-Salem. Yet during the 1960s, the civil rights movement created some common interests between the university community and some city leaders.
At the time, there were only a handful of pastors involved in the struggle for civil rights. In addition to Jerry Drayton, they were Jack Noffsinger of Knollwood Baptist (who taught an interracial bible school), W.R. Griggs of Southside Baptist, Mark Dep at Centenary, and Warren Carr at Wake Forest. In Winston-Salem, the power structure of prominent businessmen worked behind the scenes to do the good works necessary to protect their city’s reputation.
In one glimpse of changes to come, in the early 1960s, five Wake Forest students wanted to live in a house in the Patterson Street neighborhood, a black and mixed-race neighborhood of Winston-Salem. The students — Bob Braxton, Beth Pirkle, and three others came to Ed for help. Ed approached President Tribble on their behalf, and the the plan was approved. Ron and Muriel Rice, members of the staff of the First Baptist Church, lived with them as house parents. When Dr. Harvey Cox of Harvard Divinity School was at the campus as a speaker, Ed took him to visit the Patterson Street community.
In 1968, the Covenant House was established in the West End Neighborhood and college students lived there in order to learn from and engage with the community. This project was sponsored by Campus Ministry of Winston-Salem, which included Bill Kerkeval, Mark Rose, and Jack Viverette. These three campus ministers served Wake Forest, Salem College, and Winston-Salem State. The Covenant House was supported by Ed Christman, Provost Ed Wilson, Dean Lu Leake and Dean Tom Mullen.
During the 1960s, a few Wake Forest students began to volunteer at the YMCA, the Experiment in Self-Reliance and other city organizations. Campus Ministry was for many years a focus for those interested in community volunteering.
Other Campus Changes 1961-1968
President Tribble Retires: President Harold Tribble had served the University since 1950 — through the move to Winston-Salem, the development of the new campus, expansion of the student body, integration, and the reestablishment of the graduate school. By the time of his retirement, Wake Forest had become a true university, secure and ambitious in its new home. His work was complete.
In 1967, James Ralph Scales became the 11th Wake Forest president. Vice President Hubert Humphrey attended the inauguration. President Scales was able to turn his attention towards developing and expanding the spirit of academic pursuit at the school and in particular the development of the arts. He was also inclined to to support changes in traditional campus life — such as lifting the ban on dancing, mandatory class attendance, Saturday classes, and compulsory chapel — to fit the rapidly-changing world and expectations of students.
Moravian Lovefeast: One of Wake Forest University’s signature events is its annual Moravian Lovefeast held the first Sunday in December. This event is the largest Moravian Lovefeast in North America and likely one of the largest in the world. The first Wake Forest Lovefeast was held in 1965, at the suggestion of Jane Sherill Stroupe ’67, a Moravian student. It was held in Davis Chapel and the New Philadelphia Band provided the music. The campus fell in love with the Lovefeast right away, and it soon moved to Wait Chapel.
As Ed said later, “When we came to Winston-Salem, we didn’t have grass, we had red clay; we didn’t have trees, we had sticks; and we didn’t have any traditions.” The Lovefeast became a tradition on the new campus, and it “gave expression to the importance of Christianity in the life of the institution.”
Ed also said that he knew the service would always be a success when he saw the Lovefeast on the Wake Forest Student Union calendar of events, with this note: “Whether you believe in love, Christmas, or feasting, be there.”
Ed organized and hosted this event, along with his fellow campus ministers. In the early years, then-secretary Jean Holcomb and many students wrapped beeswax candles in the Moravian style of red crepe. Later on, the candles were purchased due to the size of the event. Each year, a group of students, faculty, and staff would be invited to participate as ‘dieners’ to serve the simple meal of bun and coffee. Music was invited from campus groups such as the handbell choir and the gospel choir. At the suggestion of Professor Howell Smith, the Lovefeast later collected donations for Crisis Control Ministry, Samaritan Inn, and other Winston-Salem service agencies, and currently for the Chaplain’s Emergency Fund for the Wake Forest community.
Each year the attendance increased, peaking in 1988, when there were 2,400 people — more than the fire code would allow. Attendance has remained at about 2,000 since then, and the Lovefeast remains the favorite holiday activity for the Wake Forest community. In 2014, when the Wake Forest Lovefeast turned 50, the University live-streamed the event from the website and promoted the shared celebration across the US and in six or seven other countries.
Dress Code: During the 1960s, women students (also called coeds) had a dress code which required them to wear dresses/skirts on campus and in class. By 1968, the dress code had been relaxed to allow slacks on campus though not to class. In 1969, the dress code would be eliminated.
End of Compulsory Chapel: Students were also asking for and receiving more freedom. One topic of great debate during the late 1960s was mandatory chapel, which was held each Tuesday and Thursday at 11am. All students were required to attend and sit in assigned seats so that attendance could checked. Chapel had been a part of the Wake Forest experience since 1834, but students of the late 1960s argued that these gatherings had become anachronistic for either religious or educational purposes and were no longer needed.
A petition signed by 1,500 student was presented in 1968 to President Scales, who turned for advice to a faculty-student committee. The committee agreed with the petitioners, recommending that mandatory chapel be ended. The final required service was held on January 14, 1969. With this change, a Thursday morning 11am voluntary chapel time was established. The time would also be used for whole-campus events such as Founders Day and Convocation.
In the midst of the exciting time of 1968, Ed received a scholarship for another year of study at Union Seminary in New York City. This time, he received a formal leave of absence from Wake Forest. Ed and Jean, with daughters Carolyn and Kim, moved back to the ‘Big Apple,’ a place they dearly loved, but secure in knowing that they would return to Wake Forest after the year of study and adventure was over.
From Robert Braxton and Beth Pirkle:
Forty-seven years ago we graduated June 6, 1966. Memories of the Patterson Avenue Social Action House project, led by chair Beth Pirkle, in this song:
This old house once stood here empty
This old house was full of chinks
This old house once had no faucets
to get water to the sinks.
Then the ‘painters’ led by Pepsi
worked in weather much too cold
while the fuses blown by Joseph
raised the power bill fourfold.
Chorus: Ain’t gonna ‘kick’ this house no longer
ain’t gonna kick this house no more.
Ain’t got time to mend the shingles
ain’t got time to fix the floor.
Ain’t got time to oil the hinges
nor to mend no window panes.
Ain’t gonna kick – as I forestated –
even though we’ll go insane.
2 This old house has frozen water
This old house has frozen heat!
While the Rices sleep in comfort
all their kids have frozen feet!
Now, this house is filled with Krispies
even though they’re smelling rank
Jo’ and Jud’ are in the bathroom
pouring water in the tank!
3 This old house is shaking neighbors
this old house is making friends.
This old house is filled with laughter
till the spring thaw comes again.
This old house has got a Blowtorch
that we use to thaw the pipes
It’s the brothers’ favorite playtoy
and it wards off sibling gripes.
4 This old house is near the mission
this old house is near the bar
This old house is near the brothel
so we’ll do with just one car.
This Cold house has got a theory
that we hope will work out right
based on putting five warm bodies
in a single room at night.
5 This old house runs on a budget
this old house has fancy meals.
There are biscuits made by Judas
and the hot tea often spills.
Things are great – however comma –
coal dust causes many pains
This old house of much “corrosion”
sure is hard on stopped-up drains.
6 This old house once knew my children
this old house once knew my wife.
This old house once gave me comfort
from the toils and storms of life.
This this house is filled with Krispies
and the Rices filled with strife
Beth is running through the kitchen
Chasing ‘Laino with a knife.
Time for a 47th Anniversary new verse
(the the tune of – I’m ‘enery the Eighth I am I am … married seven times before … her eighth old man named ‘enery – the eighth I am).