"DR. TOM" LIVES AGAIN IN HIS ADDRESS OF 1916
December Issue, WAKE FOREST COLLEGE ALUMNI NEWS, 1942
It is not such a far cry that many students and faculty members cannot remember the picturesque figure of Doctor Tom Jeffries, who for over half a century was a fixture of the Wake Forest campus. The ghost of Doctor Tom walks again when one reads the following which appeared in the Old Gold and Black of March 6, 1916. The occasion for the address was the annaul "Marshall Setup" one of the many at which Dr. Tom spoke. The man of the hour was "Dr. Tom Jeffries, scholar, thinker, preacher, and floriculturist, who made by far the most magnolious talkof the many magnolius ones he had delivered in honor of the occasion.
"I am before you all again on this serious an honorable occasion and I am very glad to see we are on the great an' noble Marshal's set-up once mo'. I seems to be mo' proud fo' to be on our present occasion. We has mo men here shall any other institootion in tile skillery of education in the world. That showes just how our recklessness and resignation am growing. We have some very extinguished perfessors, but not takin' par in this occasion until tonight, an' there is some points I desires to dispose an' talk on makin' preparation an' preparedness an' all to prepare fo' great things in this world.
"I am glad that I has the privilege of addressing, I desire to preestablish to you all that Wake Forest has de refutation of preparin' diselves an' other people. We has here mo' men of ingeniosity than any other college in the world. We has never been successful to turn out any men dat we are ashamed of. That shows de good of a institoot so beautiful an' so great an' so noble.
"You feel proud of your perfessors an' so do I, fer they is so beautiful fo' intelligence n' o'standin' in any part of criklum. We should love an' cherish our leaders an' we can purchase some love an' resignation in 'em.
"I must say that we should feel proud of the largest graduatin’ class in de world an' we should prepare ourselves an feel proud of dis occasion. We are rosin' de largest graduatin' class in de world, but we kin git two fo' to tek de places. So we don't miss em, fo’ day go to envelop de world.
"You must remember that we have not loss some of our perfessors, but not without that are kin git some mo! Other men will subside in day' places an' be gentlemans of homor N’ declarity.
You see, gentlemens, in accordance with my prayers we is de champions of N.C. n' all de various places in de world. We should feel proud an' submissive on all occasions an' de loss fo' do one is de gain of another. Do not be discouragious, for Wake Forest is de champions in skilled of education in de world' which is de ingredents of life, an' you shoud feel praise to God.
"Gentlemens, I mus' say dis am an honorable and glorious occasion You gentlemens will go to you homes and I goes to Atlantic City an' Philadelphia at de close of de session. At dis time I hope to say that we will have a grand and noble session next year. I has a fine, noble audience tonight. Don't you see that we is spreadin' out an' makin' success? As de old saying is, I preserve to be a Wake Forest man an' I like to see all things grow fo' perfection in Wake Forest. I was once a citizen of Virginia an' now I am a North Carolinian.
"De Virginians come to North Carolina for de skiller;y of education. I did not expect to make such a long an' noble export on dis occasion an' already Dr. Sledd has addressed you very fine and maliciously on dis occasion.
"Gentlemen, to young men who is graduatin' I say that I am in sympathy with them. We done sot dem, day done hotched. When I trabel in all parts of de world an meet a Wake Foriss man, my lovin' zeal rums out because day been educated at de greatest skillery of education an within dese walls.
"My next point is as I remember that I wants to warn you boys that you is entering an examination classes. I am with the boys an' de perfessors. We want to see you make noble marks. I wants to test what you have been doing.
"I hope you will be successful for I know you won't pass witout you has shoes on yo' feet. If yo' will put Shakespere in front of you, yo’ will shore you is right an’ den go ahead. I thank you for your unseparated and honorable attention."