High Points and Low 87
Southern universities whose degree is regarded respectfully everywhere. But
from the Potomac to the Gulf there is not a single college whose B.A. is
admitted to be equal to the B.A. of any of ten or twelve Northern and half a
dozen Western colleges. For Wake Forest to supply this lack would, it
seems to me, be a more brilliant achievement than for her to begin to offer a
Ph.D. of questionable value.
At any rate, here is a question that means something, one on which every
alumnus ought to take sides. I refuse to assert dogmatically that my side is
the right side; the question has not yet been thrashed out in all its
implications. But I would rather be on the wrong side of a great question
than on the right side of some two-for-a-nickel triviality, such as arranging
the football schedule. Hence it is my ardent hope that the alumni will surge
into this combat, horse, foot, and dragoons.
It was at about this time in mid-1953 that Russell H. Brantley, Jr.,
former managing editor of the Durham Herald, was brought into the
administration as the first full-time director of the College News
Bureau. Brantley, a 1945 graduate, had been editor of Old Gold and
Black as a student and had worked for the Concord Tribune, the
Durham Sun, and the Associated Press before joining the Herald.
Although born in Winston-Salem, he was reared in Zebulon. He was
married to the former Elizabeth Jones, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. H. B.
Jones. At the same time Bill F. Hensley, a 1950 graduate, was
employed as the first full-time sports publicist. Hensley had worked
for the Asheville Citizen and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Meanwhile construction was proceeding on the new campus in
Winston-Salem, with three firms doing most of the heavy work. They
were the George W. Kane Company of Greensboro and the Fowler-
Jones and Frank L. Blum companies of Winston-Salem. In the year
after the ground-breaking exercises, the foundations had been laid for
the chapel, to be built at a cost of $1,437,562 (and therefore regarded
as the contribution of the churches to the new Wake Forest), and the
library, for which the price was to run to $1,691,567. A contract had
been let, in the amount of $800,000, for the construction of the first
science building. Also nearly all of the basic grading for the campus
had been completed.
It was estimated at the time of the ground-breaking that the total
outlay for the buildings necessary to the removal of the college would
be $17.5 million―almost triple the $6 million originally en-