A President's Trials 95
On Saturday, December 3, however, Pat Preston tendered his res-
ignation, along with Tom Rogers, the football coach. That night, amid
rumors that Dr. Tribble planned to deemphasize athletics, take Wake
Forest out of the ACC, and affiliate with some minor conference, five
hundred students marched on the president's home. They sang, "We'll
hang Dr. Tribble up a sour apple tree" and held signs reading,
"Preston gone, Rogers gone, Tribble next."
As Dr. Tribble calmly appeared before them in his bathrobe, they
set an effigy of the president on fire, first moving it to a safe place at
his request. Tribble told them that he had no intention of de-
emphasizing athletics but that he was concerned about an $85,000
deficit in the athletic budget. He thanked the students for coming, and
they filed away in orderly fashion. A professor who had been
awakened by the excitement spotted Basil Watkins in the fringes of
the student group.
When Watkins had announced the investigation in November, 123
coeds signed a petition expressing appreciation to Dr. Tribble for his
labors in behalf of the college and his concern for students, and four
trustees called on him to offer their full support. They were Dr. Clyde
Turner, State Auditor Henry Bridges, Attorney J. Wilbur Bunn, and
Dr. Broadus Jones, a Raleigh minister.
Soon after Watkins appointed the inquiry group, Odus Mull, who
was to succeed Watkins January 1, 1956, as president of the Board of
Trustees, pledged to expedite the investigation when he took over. "I
want the facts known in the place of rumors," he said. "We'll get the
facts if there's any way to get them. That's when the investigation will
end-when we get the facts."
Although Dr. Tribble complained that he had had no formal notice
of the formation of the Watkins committee, he promised in a public
statement to help in any way that he could. "I shall cooperate fully in
making a complete investigation for the best interests of Wake Forest
College," he said.
I regret that the agitation of recent months should assume such pro-
portions as to hinder and retard our development program in this crucial
year of removal. It will inevitably delay much of the work that should be
done in the weeks immediately ahead if we are to move next spring to
We need cooperation and harmony now more than ever, and we have