Dr. William Hooper was the successor of President Samuel Wait.
He did not, however, succeed him immediately, for although the
Trustees promptly elected him to the presidency in October, 1845,
after Wait had given up the work in June, Dr. Hooper did not enter on
his work until January 18, 1847, at the opening of the spring term, or
session, as it was then called.
Probably there were several reasons for this delay. Dr. Hooper was
at the time a professor in South Carolina College, now the University
of South Carolina, seemingly well placed and satisfied. He was by
nature and training a teacher and lecturer rather than an administrator,
being retiring in his habits and not seeking popular notice.
Furthermore, the condition of the finances of Wake Forest College
gave him pause. The College was in debt. It had no endowment, and
as the number of students was small and they alone provided revenue
for the institution, it had great difficulty in providing for the salaries
of even a small faculty and other necessary expenses. Accordingly,
Dr. Hooper thought best to withhold his acceptance until he had
assurance that the friends of the College would rally to its support and
pay its debt, which was still about $20,000.
In addition to the stipulation about the payment of the debt, Dr.
Hooper wished also to have an understanding about the more personal
matter of a dwelling. At the Commencement of 1846 the Trustees in
answer to his inquiry replied that he could have the North Brick
House, at that time occupied by Dr. Wait, as soon as it was available,
and that in the, meantime one of the houses in the grove would be put
in repair for him, but before the end of the year the North Brick House
was vacated and free for Dr. Hooper's occupation.
It is not on record what date Dr. Hooper and his family reached
Wake Forest, but as has been said, he entered on his
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