Administration of William Hooper 407
At the Commencement of 1847 there were three graduates with the
Bachelor of Arts degree. These were T. B. Bryan, A. McDowell, and
J. Merriam; in 1848 there were also three, W. T. Walters, F. B. Ryan,
and W. E. Poole. One of these, McDowell, was afterwards intimately
associated with Hooper in the conduct of the Chowan Baptist Female
Institute. Several of the students who graduated in the years
immediately succeeding, such men as D. R. Wallace and Washington
Manly Wingate, doubtless greatly profited by the association with the
able and dignified and gentle and sympathetic warm-hearted scholar
and Christian who guided them through two years of their college
course. Wallace's statement will be given below in the chapter on
"Religion."
In June, 1858, Hooper offered his resignation as president. Though
on the urgent insistence of the Board of Trustees it was withdrawn for
the time, yet he persisted in his purpose and left the College with the
close of the fall term on December 14, 1848. The reasons for his
resignation are not clear. The Trustees seem to have given him all
possible recognition. In June, 1847, they
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be injustice to the young man, and would not be right in the one having control
over him. It results from this view of things that the College must be so sustained as
to be worthy of the confidence and patronage of the public. Every father of a family
who wishes to avail himself this institution is therefore interested in making it
capable of bestowing as good an education as can be obtained elsewhere. This is an
argument which appeals directly to our self-interest, and I think a little reflection
will convince any man that if this College be, what it professes to be, a place where
morals and industry are better secured than in most other institutions, considerations
of economy as well as benevolence ought to prompt him to lend it permanent aid.
"Now in the location of this College, and in the laws passed by the Legislature in
its behalf, every security has been taken for the attainment of frugal, sober,
industrious habits in the students. On these the present improvement and future
prosperity of our pupils depend far more than on a showy list of studies and a large
and learned corps of professors."
"Hence your son will be much more apt to improve his faculties and acquire a
taste for knowledge where temptations are few, where duties are strictly enforced,
and where the number is not so great but that each individual is the object of daily
personal attention, and is responsible for every recitation. As soon as a college
swells into a vast establishment, each student sinks into insignificance-he is only an
atom in the mass-his personal scholarship and his personal conduct become less a
matter of observation and concern, and as a matter of course he sinks into
unconcern, idleness, and, too often, dissipation. From this cause hundreds are ruined
every year."
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