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| the history of wake forest
At Wake Forest, on May 5, fifty or sixty students, carrying anti-
war signs and chanting anti-war slogans, appeared peacefully at an
ROTC ceremony. President Scales added his name to a list of between
five hundred and six hundred students who were sending a petition
to the Governor of Ohio, and Scales also sent a telegram to President
Nixon from a “University of peaceful but profound protest.” Approx-
imately five hundred students gathered for an evening vigil in front
of Reynolda Hall and then sat in horseshoe formation around mock
grave-sites on the green grass of the quad. The student government
asked for a boycott of classes the following day, and Scales supported
the request.
During the remaining weeks of the spring term most classes
were held as usual, but meetings about the war became a regular
part of campus life. A Committee for Political Action was formed
under the leadership of Assistant Professor Donald Schoonmaker.
Twelve hundred small wooden crosses, with the names of North
Carolina Vietnam war dead printed on them, were placed along
the streets of the campus, and a large wooden cross was set up on
the quad between Reynolda Hall and Wait Chapel.
On the night of May 19, a few days before the end of classes and
the beginning of final examinations, an estimated crowd of six
hundred students, following a rally in front of Wait Chapel, marched
to the President’s house to present him with a “list of demands.”
The “demands” included the abolition of ROTC, the establishment
of a day care center for University employees, and the disarming of
the campus police. A more immediate “demand” was that students
wishing to skip final examinations in order to work for peace be
allowed to do so without penalty.2
When the students arrived at the President’s house, they sat
down on the front lawn. Scales came out on the porch, and Kirk
Fuller read the list of demands, saying that a student “strike” might
become necessary if their demands were not met. Scales replied that
he understood their goals but deplored their coercive tactics and
pointed out that he was not empowered to suspend classes. He said
that he had been “proud of Wake Forest students many times in the
past” but that this was “not one of those times.” He then went back
inside the house, and the students returned to campus. Thereafter,
I remember, I joined a number of faculty members meeting with
groups of students in Reynolda Hall, trying to persuade them that
2
I have included,
in Appendix E, a
list of the “demands”
presented to President
Scales that night.
As far as I know, they
have not previously
been published in
their entirety.
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