The Retirement of Dr. Tribble 357
him at least twenty-five different times, often in the hospital…. That was the
way we got that money.
Dr. Tribble was a little bit offended years later when a portrait of
Colonel Hankins was presented to the college and he was not invited
to attend the ceremony. There had been slights during his presidency
which dismayed him. The alumni of Raleigh had given him a
handsome chair when he arrived in Wake Forest. The alumni in
Charlotte had given him a membership in the City Club there, and he
could use its facilities for dining and for small meetings. In New York
the alumni had given him membership in the University Club, which
he thoroughly enjoyed. But in Winston-Salem he was never invited to
join the Twin City Club, comparable in its exclusiveness. Nor until
the last years of his presidency was he offered membership in the
Downtown Rotary Club―although he had been a Rotarian all his life.
He considered joining the Greensboro Rotarians "just for spite" and
attending the Winston-Salem meetings as an out-of-town guest, but he
didn't do it. "I decided that was too obvious and wasn't worth the coin
anyway," he said.
But in the entire scope of his presidency, the rebuffs―whether real
or fancied-were trivial. He could look back upon monumental
achievement in a central role which lesser men would have found
intimidating. He could see for the new Wake Forest which he had
created a glorious future, developing into "a unique school in the
South,” unrestrained by convention ties, seeking after truth wherever
it should lead.
There was only one thing that he would alter. He thought the name
should be changed to Reynolds University.
In his last years, his powers diminished, Dr. Tribble moved with his
wife to the Moravian Home on Winston-Salem's Indiana Avenue
about two miles from the Wake Forest campus. On brief trips he
could see once more Wait Chapel with its stately spire, the quad on
which the trees are "rolled" after an athletic victory, massive
Reynolda Hall, the Z. Smith Reynolds Library―into which he
pumped so much vitality―the brick walkways, the carefully tended
They represent Harold Tribble's statement to posterity.
They are his memorial.
He would want no other.
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