Student Life 323
In 1965 Ed Christman wrote in the Biblical Recorder that the
touchstones of BSU activity at Wake Forest at that time were wor-
ship, study, and service. He said students he encountered "may be a
little less afraid of approaching the more complex questions. They are
under more academic pressure now than seven or eight years ago and
they want their time to count…. I don't think they are as rebellious
against organized religion as they used to be." 12
A year later in the same publication, Chaplain Hollingsworth spoke
of the philosophy behind the twice-weekly chapel programs on the
campus. "Not all of our chapel exercises are worship services," he
wrote. "They aren't designed to be. But the total chapel concept is
designed to be a religious experience. This idea is a way we have of
reminding the college community that religion is as important in the
marketplace as it is in the church itself…. It is one method of saying
that religion should fill each person's entire life, that it is not
something one employs sporadically or when it's convenient."
13
While Hollingsworth gave a great deal of time and thought to the
chapel programs, their compulsory aspect was one of the things
against which many Wake Forest students rebelled most consistently.
In the fall of 1964 a junior from Tarboro, Joe Powell, was disciplined
for reading a newspaper at convocation ceremonies. He was given the
choice of a year's suspension from college or a threepoint program of
penitence that included these items: writing a letter of apology to
President Tribble, attending periodic conferences with Dean Dyer to
discuss his conduct, and promising to improve his attitude. He chose
the conditions over suspension.
Thereafter, reading a newspaper in chapel became a widespread
student habit, sometimes accompanied by general epidemics of
coughing. Prankish students dreamed up many ways to interrupt the
proceedings, once lowering an inflated model of a buxom movie star
from the rafters and on another occasion dangling a brassiere behind a
Baptist minister. At another time several students were caught trying
to nail the doors of Wait Chapel shut. The exercises remained
mandatory through the Tribble administration, but serious doubts
were raised as to the efficacy of a tradition resisted so generally.
Perhaps one reason compulsory chapel was so widely resented was
that the move to Winston-Salem had provided a broad array of
Previous Page Next Page