Things Academic 245
as an independent discipline was in part a recognition of the in-
creasing need for formal instruction in public speaking, drama, and
radio. When Zon Robinson failed to return to Wake Forest after
World War II, the teaching of speech courses and the coaching of the
debate squad fell to Prof. A. L. Aycock, wearing one of the many hats
he wore good-naturedly in his long career on the faculty.
Aycock had no desire to make the speech classes and the forensics
circuit part of his permanent routine, and he prevailed upon Franklin
R. Shirley, then an associate professor of speech at CarsonNewman
College, to join the staff of the Wake Forest English Department. He
was a graduate of Georgetown College with a master's from Columbia
University. Shirley, who would go on to earn his doctorate at the
University of Florida, already had an excellent reputation as a debate
coach, and he assumed that function at Wake Forest. In the year of his
arrival, 1948-49, he taught two courses in public speaking, one in
public discussion and debate, a course in voice and diction, another in
oral interpretation of literature, and two drama courses in play
directing and stagecraft.
In addition to the speech duties, Shirley was made theater director,
and he found that his teaching, coaching, and theater responsibilities
were more than one man could handle alone. The department
recognized his dilemma, and in the spring of 1952 Clyde McElroy,
who held a master's from Baylor University, was recruited to assist in
teaching speech and dramatic arts and to take over theater direction.
With two men on hand, the faculty approved a major in speech and
dramatics within the English Department in 1953. Professor Shirley
was made chairman of that division.
As the college was preparing to move to Winston-Salem, McElroy
took leave to work on his doctorate. Beginning in 1956-57 James H.
Walton, who held the master's degree from University of Nebraska,
was recruited as instructor in speech and director of the theater. In that
year the title of the division was changed to speech and drama.
The college radio station WFDD was controlled and operated by
students until the fall of 1957, when the administration asked Shirley
to employ a new instructor in speech who would become director of
the radio station. One of Dr. Shirley's former students who had been
station manager of WFDD, Julian Burroughs, was then finishing his
doctoral work at the University of Michigan with emphasis
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