on February 3 a recommendation that no change should be made in
the Wake Forest administration "at this time." The board debated the
Executive Committee report for four and one-half hours before
passing it as a resolution. To satisfy the opposition, three votes were
taken, first by voice, then standing, and finally by roll call.
At half-past ten that night Irving Carlyle, representing the trustees,
met with the press and urged "that we take all possible profit from the
investigation and then put it behind us." As approved and as relayed
to the media, the resolution gave a history of the inquiry along with a
summary of the activities of the Watkins committee. The report said:
The transcript of the investigation discloses these essential facts: Almost
ten years have elapsed since the momentous decision was made by the
Baptist State Convention in the historic session held at Greensboro on July
30, 1946, to accept the offer of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and to
move Wake Forest College to Winston-Salem.
That decision presented new and enlarged opportunities to the college and
brought the entire personnel of the college face to face with many heavy and
exacting problems.
During this trying decade all departments of the college were compelled
to operate as usual in cramped surroundings; in midstream the adminis-
tration passed from the hands of Dr. Thurman Kitchin to those of Dr. Harold
W. Tribble; millions of dollars had to be raised and a new plant planned and
erected at Winston-Salem.
Irritations and misunderstandings and some mistakes inevitably arose
under the pressures of time and change and enlarged responsibilities. The
additional burdens of the program weighed heavily at many points on
numerous individuals, giving rise to inescapable frictions.
Conceding all of these things, as we must, the members of the Executive
Committee have come unanimously to the conclusion that nothing has been
established by the findings of the investigating committee which would
warrant any change….
The document ended with a plea "that we close ranks and move
forward unitedly in accomplishment of the mission which has been
assigned to all of us in the building of a stronger and more useful
Wake Forest College in the years ahead."
Reports from various trustees later suggested that the board had
been split into three groups in the voting: those who supported Dr.
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