| the history of wake forest
chapel had “become a misnomer” and that it was “seldom religious”
but more nearly a “college forum,” and he appointed a committee to
study the matter. Professor of Physics Thomas J. Turner was named
to represent the faculty, but otherwise the committee was composed
of administrators and students. The President appointed Dean
Mullen and myself, as well as Chaplain L. H. Hollingsworth and
Director of Communications Russell Brantley, to the committee,
and five students were also asked to serve: James Sheffer of Hins-
dale, Illinois, president of the student body; James Carver of Dur-
ham, vice-president of the student body; Linda Carter of Madison,
editor of Old Gold and Black; Richard Staiger of Gaithersburg,
Maryland, who had been instrumental in drafting the petition;
and Jennie Lynn Boger of Concord.
Members of the committee essentially agreed with the student
petitioners that chapel no longer achieved its historic purpose of
providing worship services and that its function of presenting
speakers had been largely superseded by the College Union and
other agencies. They therefore recommended that the “chapel hour”
be retained for voluntary worship services, as well as for other
meetings and activities that “bring students and faculty members
together”; that University “convocations,” such as the one tradition-
ally scheduled on Founders’ Day, be held “once or twice a month,”
with students “expected” to attend and faculty members “encouraged”
to attend; and that the chapel period also be used occasionally for
continuing orientation for new students. The committee asked that
the proposals be adopted for a one-year trial period and thereafter
be reviewed, but no one doubted that “chapel,” as generations of
Wake Foresters had known it, had been permanently abandoned.
The committee’s recommendations were accepted by the Presi-
dent and became effective immediately. The last compulsory chapel
in Wake Forest’s history was held on January 14, 1969, with Ross
Coggins, a regional administrator for VISTA (Volunteers in Service
to America), as the speaker. A few weeks later, L. H. “Holly” Hol-
lingsworth (B.A., 1943), who had served as Chaplain since the sum-
mer of 1959, was named Director of Church Relations, with the
responsibility of “interpreting Wake Forest to the Baptist people of
North Carolina, to the Baptist State Convention, and to other denomi-
nations in North Carolina.” For nine years, blessed with a strong
and persuasive voice, Hollingsworth had brought graciousness and
Previous Page Next Page