438 History of Wake Forest College
ber 6, 1856,13 but nothing came of it. The organization was effected,
however, on the afternoon of Commencement day, June 10, 1858. Its
chief promoters were J. L. Prichard, then pastor at Wilmington, A.
McDowell, B. M. Baxter, W. E. Pool and John Mitchell. The first
alumni address was delivered at the Commencement of 1859, when
the institution was a quarter of a century old, by W. T. Brooks of the
class of 1839. His subject was the early history of the institution and
his address was both humorous and interesting. It was published and
is extant, and is a valuable historical document. According to a
practice established at this the Society of the Alumni speaker
alternated from year to year. Brooks was a Euzelian. The address at
the Commencement of 1860 was by a Philomathesian, Dr. O. F.
Baxter, on "Some Educational Errors of the Age."14 After this there
seems to have been no further meeting of the alumni until after the
Of the faculty of this period little remains to be added to what has
been already said of them. On coming to the College Professor
William Royall brought his family with him, among them his son,
William Bailey Royall, who graduated in the class of 1861, and was
afterwards to be its distinguished Professor of Greek. As the greater
part of the elder Royall's service, until his death in December, 1892,
was at a later period, further account of him will be given in another
William Gaston Simmons, who began his services as Professor of
Chemistry in January, 1855, remained at the College, except for the
interruption of the Civil War, until his death on March 3, 1888. His
wife was Miss Mary E. Foote, daughter of Mr. Henry Foote of
Warren County, whom he married on September
13 The article is headed: "Attention, Graduates of Wake Forest College!" and is
signed "L. H. Alumnus," Probably L. H. Shuck, who had graduated the previous
June. He says: "Wake Forest has already received the credit of being behind hand in
every improvement, and always bringing up the rear in the march of progress, and
shall we, fellow graduates, refuse our aid when it is in our power to quicken her
footsteps in the path of progress and improvement? Let us hear through the Biblical
14 A synopsis of Dr. Baxter's address is found in the Biblical Recorder, June 21,
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