TRUSTEES VOTE TO ADMIT WOMEN

Girls May Now Enroll in Junior and Senior Classes
March Issue 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 war.

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 Women's Glee Club, 1942University 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 by experience."

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 war.

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