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In a sense, the second issue was less clear-
cut. The Baptist State Convention, which re-
quested that we return a portion of the
National Science Foundation grant, felt that its
principle of church-state separation was being
violated. The Board respects that tradition and
upholds it. But we could find in this instance
no danger of government intervention or con-
trol. There were numerous examples of govern-
ment intrusion in the University’s day-to-day
operations, but none in this particular grant.
Differences of interpretation eventually
raised the question of control, and here I think
we knew quickly where our responsibilities lay.
The buck stops with the Trustees.
We respect those persons in the Convention
who, for a while, were our adversaries. So our
decision was made not out of scorn but simply out of a knowledge
that being trustees made us responsible for this turn in the course
of the University’s history.
I thank you for your determination to make education better
and less encumbered. I am grateful to President Scales, who has
been in other battles for academic freedom. The award is his as
much as it is anyone’s. He is civil, intelligent, and courageous,
and he will not abandon principle. The Meiklejohn Award will
make us more aware of the issues of freedom. And for that I
thank you too.
President Scales said that Wake Forest would remain a “fortress
of independent thought,” and both he and Mason were given stand-
ing ovations.
Mason and Scales returned to Winston-Salem with an award
honorably earned, and I went back to Massachusetts for the last
few weeks of my leave.
Trustee chairman James Mason
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