Student Life 311
editorial May 18, 1959, proposing their dissolution: "We say ,
`Let's forget the whole thing'," the editor wrote. "Let's forget the cup.
Let's forget Society Day. Let's forget the societies. After all, why
remember them? They serve no other purpose than to take up room on
the second floor of Reynolda Hall. At one time they did serve a
purpose, but that was when they constituted the bulk of
extracurricular activities at Wake Forest." Soon afterwards, the so-
cieties passed out of existence.
Some of the things they had espoused thrived, however. The debate
squad, under the coaching of Dr. Franklin Shirley, remained one of
the best in the country, and its reputation was enhanced by the
addition of skilled women contestants. In 1953 Virgil H. Moorefield,
who had moved on to the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary,
was chosen as one of two debaters to represent the United States on a
tour of England. As a Wake Forest student Moorefield had ranked as
one of the top ten debaters in the nation for two years in a row. He
had graduated summa cum laude, was a member of Phi Beta Kappa,
and had been president of the Delta Kappa Alpha ministerial
fraternity.
The year 1959 showed Wake Forest debaters at their best and in a
way typified the kind of oratorical excellence that was traditional at
the college. In the Carolina Forensics National Tournament at the
University of South Carolina on November 13 and 14, among the
fifteen colleges and universities represented, Wake Forest debaters
won nearly every first-place rating to be had. The varsity negative
team made up of Susie Jones and Joe Grubbs was undefeated in six
rounds, and the affirmative, Sherry Daily and Dick Burleson, won
four of six. The novice negatives, Charles Taylor and Glenn Black-
burn, Jr., won six of six, and the novice affirmatives, Alfred Baker
and Ed Gaskins, won five of six. Sherry Daily won first place in
impromptu speaking, Gaskins took a trophy as top novice de-
bater―with Baker and Blackburn second and third―and Grubbs and
Burleson were among the top ten debaters in the tournament.
Typically the debate squad won few plaudits on the campus, but the
renown of Wake Forest on the forensics circuit was widely ac-
knowledged by the best schools in the country. Debating was some-
thing Wake Forest had always done extremely well, dating from the
early society training, and new generations of students brought new
champions.
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