The Trustee Proposals 155
and almost countless…. How prone we are to take for granted a man's
contributions and to fail to acknowledge them."
Although the hope of broadening the college trustee base was
crushed at the 1963 convention, neither Dr. Tribble nor the board
despaired of utilizing influential alumni who were not North Car-
olinians and friends who were not Baptists in the direction of the
college, even if only in an advisory capacity. It was to accomplish that
aim that the Board of Trustees in January 1964 approved the idea of
creating Boards of Visitors for the undergraduate school and the Law
School. (Bowman Gray already had such a board.)
Very quickly the prospect of securing nontraditional trustees also
was revived. On February 25, 1964, a group of forty-four Baptist
ministers and laymen met at Wake Forest to plan strategy for the
presentation of a new trustee proposal to the convention in the fall. As
the revised version took shape, it would have allowed all seven
Baptist colleges in the state to exempt one-fourth of their trustees
from the mandatory denominational and residence requirements. It
was to be optional, not binding on all the schools, and it followed
policies already in force at Richmond, Stetson, and Mercer univer-
sities and William Jewell College, all Baptist institutions.
The new approach was appealing to many of the supporters of the
various colleges in the state and won the endorsement of the
convention's Council on Christian Education. Under the sponsorship
of the council the proposal was laid before the Executive Committee
of the General Board, which on May 22 announced its support. The
Executive Committee took the plan to the entire membership of the
General Board at a meeting in Fruitland July 13 and 14, where it was
approved by a vote of forty-four to five.
Dr. Tribble had already said that he was "confident that the pro-
posal will be accepted by the convention," but he had reckoned
without two factors. One was the filing of a General Board minority
report by Rev. H. L. Ferguson of Charlotte, who will be remembered
as a consistent opponent of Wake Forest initiatives. The other was a
flare-up of the incendiary issue of federal aid to education.
Ferguson's report said that the new trustee proposal "would change
the essential purpose and nature of our schools" and would deny
trustee service to many qualified North Carolina Baptists. It was
signed by Ferguson and Charles Cook, who was from States-
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