| the history of wake forest
Like many students on other campuses, in the late ’60’s,
I came to university with a restless soul. Many of us wanted some-
thing well beyond the classroom. Anti-war protest was escalating
at Harvard, Columbia and other colleges; the nonviolent civil
rights movement had taken a back seat to Black Power—even in
Winston-Salem. WFU had a Black Student Union, and “teach-ins”
on Vietnam and curriculum reform appeared on the campus calen-
dar. During my stay, the ban on dancing lifted, and women began
to wear slacks, then jeans, and a few of us the style of the day—
tie-dyes, long dresses, long hair. We questioned the curfew and
rules for women which did not apply to men on campus.
My sophomore year in 1968 meant even more dissatisfaction
with dorm life. With nine other students, Mary (Rutherford) Blan-
ton, Ted Blanton, Roger Hull, Leslie Hall, Marcia Stone, Mack
Shuping, Sam Covington, Priscilla Barkley and George Kuhn, I
requested approval for a Covenant House, modeled on a program
in Greensboro. Dr. Phyllis Trible, my Old Testament professor, also
had a hand in Covenant House, for it was her interpretation of
scripture that gave me the program’s name. The Biblical yearning
for peace and justice came alive in those times; “Jesus Christ Su-
perstar” made its debut, and Bob Dylan’s music found its way into
Baptist services.
Chaperoned by Dr. Bert and Lenore Webber from the biology
department, we moved into a “handy man’s special” on West End
Boulevard of Winston in the fall of 1969. We had created a plan to
tutor neighborhood children, keep up our studies, represent the
university appropriately in the community, and provide a way for
other students to reach out to needy people. Co-ed living arrange-
ments were unheard of in 1969; Deans Leake and Mullen, Provost
in retrospect
Reflections on Covenant House
By Laura Wilson, née Stringfellow (B.A., 1971)
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