From the Record (txt):

Two students fired a shotgun blast into the home of Chaplain William S. Coffin from a car on the night of April 12 [1958]. The shot broke a front window and sprayed into the Coffin’s living room, causing little damage, no injury.

On Thursday afternoon the case was broken by a joint police-student-administration effort and two students signed confessions to the shooting. Over the weekend the Discipline Committee voted unanimously to expel them from college.

Neither would tell what had motivated the action. Opinion here conjectured, however, that it had been a drunken “prank” aimed at Coffin because of his controversial stands on college issues (see FRATERNITIES).

The story reached the local press and radio. Commented the Berkshire Eagle: “a shotgun may be a valid tool of argument in darkest Mississippi, but up here we’re civilized.” The RECORD pointed out that the unpleasantness of the situation grew and involved more and more people as long as it remained unsolved, that the speedy success of the investigation was tremendously important to the best interests of Williams.

The whole incident made Coffin — who will be Chaplain at Yale next year — the most talked-about man of the spring term.

If the Coffin shooting was the most dramatic student/faculty conflict of the last 100 years, what was the second most dramatic?

Print  •  Email