| the history of wake forest
opposing minority report: Howard Shields from the Department of
Physics and David Smiley from the Department of History. The
opposition won (by a vote of 91-81): the 4–1–4 calendar was dead;
and the College, in the fall of 1975, would return to the two-semester
calendar of tradition. One change that had been introduced with the
4–1–4 was retained: the fall semester, including the final examina-
tion period, would end before Christmas, and the spring semester
would therefore also end earlier than had been the case before 1971.
Eventually, in compliance with these changes, the third Monday in
May would become officially designated as Commencement Day not
just for the College but for the entire University, and the preceding
academic year would be planned in accordance with that deadline.
Student reaction to the faculty deci-
sion was predictable and immediate.
More than five hundred students gath-
ered in the ballroom of Reynolda Hall
to hear a report from both sides of the
faculty debate: from Robert Shorter
of English and Don Schoonmaker of
Politics, who had supported the 4–1–4,
and from Robert Brehme of Physics
and David Smiley of History, who had
been against it. After two hours of
discussion, the student government
appointed a committee to continue
fighting in behalf of the 4–1–4.
The following week an estimated
eight hundred students assembled in
Wait Chapel to hear, among others,
Elizabeth “Bunz” Daniels, president
of the student body, and Associate
Professor of English Robert Shorter,
who had succeeded Don Schoonmaker as Director of the Winter
Term. The crowd was reportedly “orderly but enthusiastic,” and
plans were developed for a letter-writing campaign. Another dra-
matic proposal by some of the students was that, during the Home-
coming football game on November 10, a hot air balloon be engaged
to float over the stadium, carrying a sign reading “Restore 4–1–4.”
Unfortunately, there was so much wind on the scheduled afternoon
Don Schoonmaker
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