When I joined the Wake Forest faculty in September of 1961, I had the good fortune of being taken in hand by Professor Forest Clonts whose knowledge of Wake Forest history was only exceeded by his love for the institution. As he gently and tactfully guided my efforts at college teaching, he also instilled a knowledge and respect for Wake Forest's past. This most frequently happened over a cup of cafeteria coffee, when I and other colleagues would join him for a few pleasant moments of the gentle conversation of which he was such a master. Tidbits of old and new campus folklore, glimpses of past events and campus figures often led me to the library, to conversations with others whose memories encompassed the same events and characters, and to whatever sources could provide further information about the subject Professor Clonts had raised.
So, perhaps unknowingly, but I think not, Prof. Clonts enrolled yet another
student in a course which was not even listed in the catalog--The History
of Wake Forest. From time to time he was assisted by others of his colleagues:
Prof. Hubert Jones, Dr. Henry Stroupe, Dr. Percival Perry, Mrs. C. C.
Pearson, Dr. L. H. Hollingsworth, Dr. Harold Tribble, and a host of others
who presented brief lectures in a course they didn't know was being taught.
The material presented here is much in the same vein. It is composed of glimpses--Trees in the Forest. Its purpose is not so much to instruct as to encourage further quests into the archives and memories of the institution and those associated with it. Many major events of the University's past are hardly mentioned in these pages. The Reynolds contract and the move to Winston-Salem; the dancing controversies, Jonathan Beam, and many other subjects crucial to the history are but touched upon if mentioned at all. Those looking for a more meticulous coverage are referred to Dr. Paschal's three volumes and Professor Bynum Shaw's soon to be completed volume four in the History of Wake Forest.
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