TO ADMIT WOMEN
Girls May Now
Enroll in Junior and Senior Classes
WAKE FOREST COLLEGE ALUMNI NEWS, 1942
At a meeting of the Wake Forest
Board of Trustees in January admission of young women into the junior
and senior classes at the college was approved for the duration of the
The action has met with wide-spread
approval among alumni and other friends of the college.
Some considerations which
led to this decision of the trustees are: One, junior college graduates
have requested it; two, Wake Forest needs it; three, it is in line with
Southern Baptist practices and modern educational trends.
1. Women graduates of our
coeducational junior colleges, in considerable numbers, have been doing
their last two years of college work in non-Baptist institutions. It was
thought if Wake Forest were to admit women on the junior-senior level
that a good many of these girls would enroll at Wake Forest, and a letter
this morning from an official in one of the junior colleges seems to substantiate
this point of view. He says: "You will not get many of our girls
who normally go to Meredith (that is not our intention. Ed. ), but you
will get many of our girls who would ordinarily go to the State Universities
and other coeducational colleges. If our folks can see far enough none
of them will oppose what you have done; in fact, they will be thankful
for it. Every Baptist college in the South has already done just what
Wake Forest has recently done. The fact that you have not already done
this has meant a distinct loss to our whole Baptist educational program."
2. If Wake Forest were to
rely, in time of war, upon her male students only, many of her classrooms
and dormitory rooms would be empty, which would entail a financial loss
that would seriously handicap the college in accomplishing its purposes.
Wake Forest is surrounded by institutions, all of which admit women. Duke
admits them, and so do the University
of North Carolina, State College, and every senior Baptist College in
the South. Income from student fees constitutes the major part of Wake
Forest income for operation (revenue from its endowment has suffered a
sharp decline). There are a few who reason thus: "The more students
Wake Forest enrolls, the greater expense she will have; therefore, reduce
the enrollment from 1,000 to, say, 200, and your problem will be solved."
The fallacy in that assumption is this: Wake Forest has undertaken the
education of ministers, doctors, teachers, lawyers, business men, journalists,
and a miscellaneous group who go into various professions. Before such
types of instruction can be approved, the accrediting agencies demand
that an adequate staff and sufficient equipment be supplied. Wake Forest
has the staff and the equipment for 1,000 students. It fewer than that
number were to enroll, income from student fees would be proportionally
reduced and the law of diminishing returns would begin to operate.
Due to the war emergency Wake
Forest already has 200 less students than were enrolled this time last
year; and now, with the draft age being lowered, a much smaller enrollment
later will be the inevitable result.
There are three institutions
in North Carolina that provide professional training in law and medicine.
The general requirement for admission to such schools is three years of
academic work. Duke University and the University of North Carolina are
adequately prepared to receive junior college graduates who can continue
the third year of pre-professional work and the professional work. The
Baptist girls of North Carolina have been discriminated against, because
they have heretofore been denied admission to the third-year class at
Wake Forest, necessary before entering the professional schools. Consequently
they have been forced to seek admission in the institutions that grant
them the advantage of more ready admission to the professional schools.
3. It has been said that you
can fool all of the people a part of the time, and a part of them all
the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. If you believe
this, and will apply it to co-education, you will be among the great majority
of Wake Foresters who favor the admission of women to the junior and senior
classes at Wake Forest, because co-education has been accepted universally.
As we have said before, Wake Forest is the only Senior Baptist College
in the South that does not admit women. A similar situation prevails in
other parts of the country. The junior colleges, with very few exceptions,
are co-educational; and, it the plan has worked satisfactorily there,
it is reasonable to assume that It will work, as it undoubtedly has done,
in the junior and senior classes, made up of students who are two years
older and more mature than those in the junior colleges.
The young ladies who have
enrolled at Wake Forest this semester are of the highest type and the
officials of the college are determined to keep it so. Care will be taken
to admit only the desirable type, and every safeguard is being taken to
maintain standards of decency and wholesomeness after the students have
registered. Bostwick dormitory has been set aside for the young ladies,
and a dean of women will be employed.
The Americana encyclopedia
says "all the arguments against co-education have been disproved
Meredith Trustees Object
A delegation of Meredith College
trustees recently appeared before the Executive Committee of the General
Board of the Baptist State Convention objecting to action of the Wake
Forest trustees with respect to the admission of women.
Wake Forest men have always
held their sister institution in highest esteem and proudly claim many
of its graduates as wives and daughters. They do not intend that the recent
action of the Wake Forest trustees shall injure Meredith and do not believe
it will as our junior college executive stated above.
But those in charge of the
destiny: of the Old Gold and Black have, for reasons cited above, decided
to admit women to the junior and senior classes for the duration of the
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