the end of chapel and the changing college scene
The chapel programs often included hymns, prayers, and readings
from Scripture, and on occasion the speaker was a minister and the
chapel hour resembled a traditional worship service not unlike what
might have been true on the old campus in Wake Forest. But some-
times the programs were thoroughly secular, and speakers—or per-
formers—came from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of
instructional or entertainment intentions. “Chapel” had become, to
a considerable extent, an “assembly” or a “community gathering.”
It was not surprising, therefore, that students began to agitate for
an end to compulsory chapel. Encouraged by a perceived greater
receptivity to change on the part of President Scales than had been
true of President Tribble, and also enlivened by nation-wide cam-
pus forces of the late 1960’s which brought under attack traditions
and restraints of all kinds, an estimated fifteen hundred students
signed a petition declaring that mandatory chapel was “anachro-
nistic” and that it failed “utterly to contribute to the educational
aims of this university.” Scales, receiving the petition, admitted that
Students at “chapel”: a disappearing tradition
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