The first President of Wake Forest College was Reverend Samuel
Wait. During the period of the Institute, February 3, 1834, to the close
of the session of 1838 on November 29 of that year, he had been
known as Principal1 When the institution became a college he was
called President.2 During his tenure of the office and practically by
virtue of it he was also Professor of Moral and Intellectual
Philosophy, as were his successors, Hooper, White, Wingate,
Pritchard and Taylor.3
Other members of the faculty were John B. White, A.M., Professor
of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy; Rev. Daniel J. Richardson,
A.M., Professor of Ancient Languages; Stephen Morse, A.M.,
Adjunct Professor of Ancient Languages, and Principal of the
Academical department; and George W. Thompson, Tutor in
Academical department. Rev. John Armstrong who was still in
Europe was considered a member of the faculty, although in his
absence another had been chosen in his place.4 In June, 1840, E. W.
West, was appointed tutor; in June, 1843, Wm. H. Owen was
appointed Professor of Ancient Languages.
Although under the regulations of the Trustees the session would
regularly have opened on the second Monday in January, for the
Spring term of 1839 it was Saturday, February 2, 1839, when the first
student to matriculate in the institution after it became a college,
William Richard Evans of Pitt County,
1 Proceedings, p. 3, Nov. 3-5, 1834, etc. For the date of the close of the Institute
see Biblical Recorder, December 8, 1838: "Wake Forest Institute. An Examination
of the students of this institution was held on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of
last week, and on Thursday an Address was delivered before the Societies by
Weston R. Gales, Esq., all of which was spoken of in terms of honorable
2 The Charter and Laws of the Wake Forest College, North Carolina, Enacted
by the Corporation, December, 1838, Raleigh, 1839.
3 President Poteat was the first president who did not teach Philosophy.
4 Charter and Laws.
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