A President's Trials 99
remote from the president than the college faculty, was much more
heavily opposed to Dr. Tribble.
On December 15 the committee was winding up its inquiry on the
old campus with a few faculty members, staff personnel, and
townspeople as witnesses. All of them were assured that what they
said would be confidential. The next day a minor sensation was
created in the town and consternation among the committee members,
when a fairly complete account of the hearing was published in the
Raleigh News and Observer under the byline of Jack Crosswell, the
newspaper's Wake Forest correspondent.
Crosswell would not tell where he got the information, which was
admittedly accurate, and the trustees feared that somewhere there had
been a leak. Actually the reporter's scoop had just been good
newspapering. The hearing was being held in a room in the basement
of the new chapel. Crosswell had gone into an adjoining room to hang
up his coat, and he suddenly realized that through the thin walls he
could hear clearly everything that was going on. He simply stayed and
took notes.
Nothing particularly sensational or damaging to Tribble was dis-
closed in the newspaper story. It cited testimony by S. W. Brewer, the
Wake Forest merchant who had been a college trustee for many years,
criticizing Tribble for being "cool and aloof" and lacking the respect
of townspeople. Other witnesses criticized the president for being
single-mindedly dedicated to the move to Winston-Salem to the
detriment of the village of Wake Forest. There was no evidence of
actual mismanagement, however.
At the December 22, 1955, meeting of the Board of Trustees in
Winston-Salem, the probe was abruptly squelched. A resolution to
halt the inquiry was submitted by Guy T. Carswell of Charlotte and
seconded by Walter M. Williams of Swepsonville. It was approved by
a vote of eighteen to twelve, with six members abstaining. It said:
"Resolved, that the work of the investigation committee be terminated
now and the investigation stopped" and "that the testimony gathered
be placed in the hands of the Executive Committee of the Board of
Trustees for 1956."
That action lodged the inquiry materials with a trustee group more
supportive of Dr. Tribble than Basil Watkins and his panel of
investigators had been. The new Executive Committee studied the
evidence for a month and then presented to the Board of Trustees
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