years at Wake Forest, compiling a record of seventy-seven wins and
forty-nine losses, and supporters reasoned that his departure was a
blow from which the football program would never recover. One of
"Peahead's" star players, Bill George, moaned that Walker's res-
ignation was "the worst thing that ever happened at the school," and
he was not alone in feeling that way.
The Walker episode was to return to haunt Tribble.
The other development was of far greater importance to the future
of Wake Forest, for it involved the largest concentrated fund drive the
college had ever witnessed. It began with the anonymous offer of a
$2-million challenge gift toward the building program, the funds to be
made available provided Wake Forest and its friends could raise three
million by July 1, 1952. Reaching that goal became Tribble's highest
priority, and he shared his attention to it with only one other landmark
event of the year, ground-breaking exercises in Winston-Salem,
which had been scheduled for October 15, 1951.
Tribble took immense satisfaction in the prospect of actually
turning over the first shovelful of earth on the new campus, and he
said in advance, "Never before in the history of this school have the
people of North Carolina been so stirred up about Wake Forest." And
they were stirred up at the national level, as well. President Harry S
Truman thought the occasion so significant that he agreed to attend
with his usual coterie of aides and press representatives.
Dr. J. A. Easley was named chairman of the committee in charge of
the ground-breaking exercises, and Dr. Thane McDonald of the Music
Department and James H. Weaver, director of athletics, were made
responsible for transportation. Dr. E. E. Folk, an English professor,
and Dr. J. Glenn Blackburn, college chaplain, were in charge of
student enlistment. Fourteen buses were chartered to accommodate
the five hundred students who wanted to attend. Dr. Percival Perry of
the History Department prepared a program and had twenty thousand
copies run off for the crowd of twenty-five thousand expected to
Bulldozers had cleared a half-mile road into the campus, and on the
appointed day, which was unseasonably warm but clear and lovely in
fall foliage, the throng gathered, in number fully as great as had been
anticipated. Most of the guests wore old gold and black buttons
celebrating the occasion. Two law students, Hugh M. Wilson of
Rutherfordton and Bernard A. Harrell of Ahoskie brought
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