Dr. William E. Speas, physics: "In my opinion we have in recent
years placed undue emphasis on the professional schools and
Dr. Henry S. Stroupe, social sciences: "The steady trend in America
toward technical education should be combatted by maintaining a
liberal arts college in which the moral and cultural aspects of
civilization are preserved."
With the faculty emphasis on modest numbers and a strong
undergraduate school, Dr. Tribble raised some hackles in 1953 when
he said that with the move to Winston-Salem, Wake Forest should
assume the status of a good university. In an August 23 interview in
the Winston-Salem Journal and Sentinel Tribble commented:
Some have said that it is better to be a good small college than a second -
rate university That is a meaningless statement in our present context. I
know of no one connected with Wake Forest who wants the school to be a
second-rate university Nor do I know of anyone [who], having given serious
thought to our present situation, feels that we should retreat from our
We have a good liberal arts college, School of Business Administration,
Law School, and Medical School, and in law and medicine we are doing
graduate work beyond the bachelor's degree that is well recognized. When
we move to Winston-Salem, we should enter the status of a good university.
To do less would be inexcusable timidity or even cowardice.
We are not thinking of great numerical expansion. We want to retain the
friendly atmosphere of the old campus while we push steadily toward higher
levels of quality and achievement.
Three weeks later, in the same newspaper, Gerald W. Johnson, the
respected Baltimore journalist who was a member of the Class of
1911, took exception to Dr. Tribble's university call. Johnson said:
My objection is based not on academic but on strictly financial
arguments. Note well that Dr. Tribble did not say merely "university," he
said "good university." This country is infested with things calling
themselves universities that are no closer to real universities than the stone
gate to the Wake Forest campus is to the Arch of Triumph in Paris. As a
result, the country is flooded with doctors of philosophy whose degrees are
not worth the parchment on which they are engrossed. Fake universities turn
out fake scholars; and fake scholars bring the very name of learning into
At this moment it is not necessary for a candidate for the Ph.D. degree
to leave the South. Duke, Vanderbilt, and Carolina are at least three
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