446 History of Wake Forest College
"This year," said one of the editors of Old Gold and Black for May
21, 1936, "the paper has backed the movement at every opportunity in
its editorial pages." At the commencement they were ready with a
petition to the Trustees, which was presented by the president of the
student body and by the editor of Old Gold and Black, representing
that the movement had the practically unanimous approval of the
student body in session assembled and of members of the faculty.'
The Trustees granted the petition and dancing at Wake Forest College
under "strict supervision of the
was authorized for one year.
Nothing was said of this important action in the report of the
commencement in the News and Observer, but it was soon known all
over the State.
In its editorial on the commencement, however, the Biblical
Recorder, took notice of it, and said:
Doubtless the Trustees in voting this permission thought they were acting in the
best interests of the College and the Baptists of the State whose representatives they
are. We know that they intend to be good and true men and loyal supporters of our
Baptist causes and principles. We know also that they were in a hard situation when
asked to vote on a proposition which purported ... to be the wish of "ninety-seven
per cent of the students ... and a predominant majority of the faculty." And yet we
should be false to our sense of duty if we did not take this occasion to say that in our
view authorizing dances in Wake Forest College the Trustees made a serious
mistake, and that their action doesn't have our approval. We shall not argue the
question here further than to say that many Baptists will think that faith has not been
kept with those who with prayers and tears and sacrifices founded the College and
have supported it through all the years. These men and women, including Mr. Jabez
A. Bostwick, the largest contributor to its endowment were not contributing to
promote worldliness; they were contributing to promote the cause of religion. They
had on their hearts the fact that the primary purpose of Wake Forest College from
the first day until now has been to give our Baptist people an educated ministry for
their churches; that all else is secondary. Does
The representation in the News and Observer of July 19, 1936, that only one
professor of the College was opposed to action of the Trustees in authorizing
dancing is inaccurate. Several others assured that "one" that he was not alone.
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