Dancing to the Convention Tune 119
torium, but a week before the dance the committee announced in a
rare Old Gold and Black extra that the affair had been cancelled due
to lack of student interest. The cancellation actually was the result of
pressure from the administration, which had become nervous over the
prospect of an "all-campus dance" that might seem to have the
sanction of college officials.1 By tradition individual fraternities and
the Pan-Hellenic Council had sponsored dances in Raleigh, but it was
specifically understood that these were the result of their private
planning and not an expression of the will of the college or its
When on April 26, 1957, the trustees supported Tyner's resolution
they won the immediate favor of the students, who broke out into
spontaneous dancing on the patio of Reynolda Hall, and even the
Cullom Ministerial Conference endorsed the trustee action by a vote
of twenty-eight to nineteen. But across the state there were waves of
shock in Baptist strongholds. In Asheville the Patton Avenue Baptist
Church threatened to cut off all financial support of the college, and in
Raleigh Dr. M. A. Huggins, secretary of the Baptist State Convention,
said he had received a number of protests. On May 13 the Pastor's
Conference of the Pilot Mountain Association, which includes the
churches of Winston-Salem, declared its adherence to the
convention's 1937 statement.
With the atmosphere thus charged, the Board of Trustees backed
away slightly from its earlier decision and on June 3 appointed a
committee to study "the entire problem." Judge Hubert E. Olive was
then president of the board, and he named Irving E. Carlyle chairman,
to be assisted in the study by Shearon Harris of Albemarle, Dr.
Claude U. Broach of Charlotte, Prof. A. L. Aycock of the English
Department, Dr. Henry Stroupe of the History Department, Dean Lois
Johnson, and Larry Williams, president of the student body.
While they did their work, letters dominated by protest streamed
into the Biblical Recorder and were faithfully spread over its pages.
One from Rev. J. C. Canipe, president of the Baptist State Conven-
tion, warned that in their approval of dancing the trustees were
"waving a red flag in a bull's face." On the other hand Rev. Roy F.
Easterly, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Tryon, wrote that "the
evil which has stood out in many of the letters of denunciation like a
Douglas fir on a scrub oak knoll is not debatable. It is my
Previous Page Next Page