According to the statement under "Laws of Admission," found in
The Charter and Laws of the Wake Forest College, issued early in
1839, there were to be two departments in the institution, "the College
and the Academical."1
To enter the Academical department, no qualifications were
necessary except "good moral character and ability to prosecute the
studies of that department." During the Manual Labor days no
students under twelve years of age were admitted, probably on the
ground that boys under that age were too young to perform the
manual labor required of all students, but now all restrictions as to age
were withdrawn. To accommodate students of various classes the
Academical department was subdivided into an English and a
Classical department, the tuition in the former being $25.00 and in the
latter $35.00 a year. The studies of the Academical department were
not set forth in the catalogue but were left to the regulation of the
faculty, who were expected to consult the ability and circumstances of
the students and the wishes of parents and guardians.
The Academical, or Preparatory, department, was continued until
June, 1860, when according to notice given in the College Catalogue
as early as 1858, "it ceased to exist." Until the last years of this period
it contained a good portion of the students, in some years as many as
two-thirds, and hardly ever fewer than one-third.2
1 A copy of this pamphlet may be found in the Library of Wake Forest College.
2 In the Spring term of 1839 only 23 of the 62 students were classed as College
students; in the fall term of 1839-40, 31 of 65; in the spring term of that year 27 of
51; in the 1840-41 year 21 of 65 were classed as College students. Conditions had
improved somewhat in 1856-57, but in that year 45 of 99 students were in the
Preparatory department. The decrease of preparatory students to 16 in the year
1859-60 brought a decrease in the total number of students to 76. In 1860-61 the
number of students, all collegiate, was 64.
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