Wake Forest in 1939

By JASPER L. MEMORY, Jr., Class of '21


At an alumni meeting held in October an alumnus who studied at Wake Forest in the '90's arose and expressed his allegiance to his alma mater but wondered "just flow things are on the campus now, with its new buildings, new professors," etc. Perhaps the best answer to such a query is to invite the former students to come back and see for themselves.

When you return and walk across the campus you may be assured of a cordial greeting by whomever you meet, be he professor, student, or janitor. The faces will probably be new to you, but the old spirit will be the same. If it should happen to be Sunday morning, you will find the bulk of the student-body enrolled in a half-dozen Sunday school classes, studying the old, old Story of Jesus and His love. If you should want a seat at the church service, you had better show up ten minutes early, for there is rarely an empty seat in the auditorium, balcony, or Sunday school wings. The boys sing just as well or better now than they did in the bygone days, and they sing the fine old songs of Zion.

Almost any night in the week you can find the literary society halls lighted and can hear the voice of an orator as it melts away through a maze of magnolias. Membership in these societies is now made up only of those men who wish to join, a condition which has resulted in greater enthusiasm and better speaking than existed in the days when membership was compulsory. The societies, instead of meeting once a week, as was the case in former days, now are divided into sections which meet throughout the week, thus allowing more extensive paticipation. The initiation ceremonies are still administered in ancient and due form, and by the time the neophyte has hall the meaning of "I. C. T. Q." and "Sentram" revealed to him he is a weaker but wiser man.

Walk around to the library and you will find perhaps the busiest place on the campus, not just a handful of boys, but scores of them delving into some of the 70,000 volumes that are at their finger-tips. An interesting shelf in the library, known as "The Wake Forest Collection," contains about 600 volumes, all written by Wake Forest men. Here you will find the work of Gerald Johnson, John Charles McNeill, Lawrence Stallings, Tom Dixon, Claudius Murchison, and several hundred others. There are separate libraries for the schools of law and medicine.

You have already rend enough about the athletic teams in the newspapers, so we shall not go into that here.


You have also probably heard already about the firebug who burned a good many of the college buildings several veers ago. The ones left that you will recognize are the library building, the chemistry building, the infirmary, the old gymnasium which now houses the social science department, the alumni building, and the church. The new administrative building stands on precisely the same spot as the old one and resembles it in many respects. Its flanks, however, instead of being called "Eu" and "Phi" ends and used as dormitory rooms, are now made into classrooms. The administrative offices are in the middle section. and the literary society halls are on the top floor. Then, there are the new gymnasium, medical building, and three dormitories—Hunter, Bostwick, and Simmons—all connected with brick walks. Just west of the campus, you will find the new athletic field. Beyond that, on college property, and stretching toward the hills are a lake and beautiful nine hole golf course.

Physical improvements in the town have kept pace with those on the campus. A good many new and attractive residences have gone up, streets have been hard-surfaced, and the business district has spread out. Ground is being broken now for a new $70,000 post office. There are two drug stores, two theaters, two hot dog stands, and a proportionate number of mercantile establishments.

Notwithstanding the new dormitory facilities on the campus, some of the old-timers still stick up for their old rooming places. Take Dr. Bruce Wilkins of Durham, for instance. A few weeks ago he was having a good-natured argument with one of his medical colleagues who attended another college. Finally, after each of them had had his say, Wilkins remarked, "Listen here, Bill, the only thing you lack of being a great doctor is that you didn't go to Wake Forest and room in the Wilkinson building."


"Where do students come from, and what kind of fellows are they?" you ask. Well, about 750 of the 976 enrolled are North Carolina boys. Three out of every four are Baptists. The interests and aspirations of the students haven't changed a great deal during the years. The rank and file of them are ambitious, and their seriousness of purpose usually becomes intensified while here. Alumnus Carl Townsend, class of 1924 and pastor of the Hayes Barton Baptist church of Ra1eigh, remarked the other day that the greatest verb in the English language is the verb To Be; and that the greatest contribution Wake Forest makes is that "She has a way of instilling into a large percent of her students an intense desire TO BE somebody."

In any college with 1,000 men enrolled you are naturally going to find a few roughnecks, but the percent of them at Wake Forest now is perhaps as low as it ever was. Fighting on the campus has almost become a thing of the past, there having been only two fracases here that the writer knows of during the past decade. There may be some little drinking behind the scenes, but one never sees a drunk around Wake Forest except now and then some outsider at a public occasion, and there the number intoxicated is far less than is usually the case in other areas. There has not been any hazing of freshmen whatever during the past four years, a condition which reflects the fine, cooperative and helpful relationship that exists between the student body, the student council, and the faculty.


But, Old-Timer, you aren't as interested in knowing about the student body of today as you are in getting posted on the whereabouts and well-being of some of the professors and janitors you knew in your college days. All right, we'll tell you about them. Drs. Sledd, Gulley, Lynch, and Cullom all retired last year, still live in the village, stroll across the campus frequently and occasionally make a chapel talk. Dr. Gulley operates a dairy on the edge of town and practices law. Dr. Cullom is pastor of the church at Spring Hope. Dr. Gorrell, rounding out his 45th year as professor at Wake Forest, will retire at the close of the present session. Professor J. L. Lake retired a few years ago, still smokes his pipe, likes to talk about the stock market, and will invite you home to a good dinner, if you will give him half a chance. These men are by no means disassociated with the college, but on the contrary are entering an era of greater usefulness. As President Kitchin aptly expressed it, "They are now professors at large."

Other members of the faculty at present follow: Thurman D. Kitchin, President; Daniel B. Bryan, dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Coy C. Carpenter, dean of the School of Medical Sciences; Dale F. Stansbury, dean of the School of Law; E. B. Earnshaw, bursar; Grady S. Patterson, registrar; O. T. Binkley, Bible; C. S. Black, chemistry; O. C. Bradbury, biology; J. A. Easley, religion; Hubert A. Jones mathematics; H. In. Jones, English; Jasper L. Memory, Jr., education; George W. Paschal, Greek; C. C. Pearson, social science; H. M.. Poteat, Latin; A. C. Reid, philosophy; W. E. Speas, physics; J. G. Carroll, mathematics; E. E. Folk, English; Nevill Isbell, chemistry; A. L. Aycock, English; George E. Copple, English; F. W. Clonts, social science; Sherwood Githens Jr., physics; H. D. Parcell, French; C. A. Seibert, French; N. C. Tiddings, French; Carlton P. West, history; Paul D. Berry, German; R. L. Gay, mathematics; Max L. Griffin, English; M. J. Hagood, English; Alfred Martin, philosophy; H. G. Britt, biology; Henry S. Stroupe, history; Zon Robinson, debate coach; E. C. Cocke, biology; K. T. Raynor, mathematics; Al Dowtin, alumni secretary.

Besides Dr. Carpenter in the medical school are F. S. King, George C. Mackie, H. M. Vann, L. L. Chastain, R P. Morehead, and Carmillo Artom.

Besides Dean Stansbury in the school of Law are I. Beverly Lake, E. W. Timberlake, Jr., R. Bruce White, Brainerd Currie, and Sam Fielding.

The coaching staff is composed of Jim Weaver, Athletic Director; D. C. Walker, head football coach; Tom Rogers, line coach; Murry Greason, basketball and backfield coach, and John Caddell, baseball.

Walter Holliday is still superintendent of buildings and grounds; Mrs.. Ethel Crittenden is the librarian; and Phil Utley is director of physical education.


By the way, in looking over this list of profs, I am reminded that quite a number of them are now proud papas. Not the least of them (maybe so in size, but certainly not in enthusiasm) is Hubert Jones, whose little 2-year-old son, H. A., Jr., was born the same month as Murray Greason, Jr., Johnson Hagood, Jr., and my boy, Jasper Durham Memory. (And, gentle reader, make note of it, I'm for that young'un!) C. C. Pearson is the father of a pretty little curly-haired, four-year-old girl. Her mother, by the way, is Dr. Cullom's youngest daughter, Sara. Al Aycock, Beverly Lake, George Mackie, Owens Rea, Coy Carpenter, and Bill Speas, all have one or two very fine offsprings a-piece.


Circulated around the campus is the story that at the beginning of this school year Speas had a freshman in one of his physics classes who had planned to "get a leg" on him.

So one day Bill chanced to illustrate, "Take the bicycle for instance: It represents all the elements of science!" To which the freshman nodded his assent and reassured Bill with, "I understand, professor."

At the next meeting of the class, Bill said, "Well, we'll now take up the Barometer."

"I understand; it's just like the bicycle," the freshman volunteered, and so on, for several days—every time Speas would introduce a new subject the freshman understood because it was "just like the bicycle."

Finally Bill said, "Look here, Freshman, if you don t get on that bicycle and ride it out of here, I'm gonna get on your neck."


We would like to have time and space to tell you about the janitors, but since no very worthy successor to Old "Dr." Tom Jeffries has emerged we'll just hit it in the high spots. Boze works in the new gymnasium. Buster (he of the big belly) has been transferred from the medical building to the campus crew. His successor in the "stiff" room is Amos, who, they say, can wield a dissecting knife with the best of them. Bruce keeps the new administration building clean, draws cartoons for the student publications when talent is scarce, and puts a mean bass on the janitor's quartet. Chic and Butch got fired a few years ago, but William, Harvey, Fondell, and Bill are still hanging on.

Taking the old college all the way around, including white and black, professor and student, it is a right respectable and happy company, well launched on its second century of service.


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