Religion 473
The College has turned out, is indicative of Dr. Hooper’s wholesome influence on
the students:
Dr. Hooper, the President, was a slender, tall, fine-looking man,
something over six feet, as I recollect him; about seventy years old, I
would say-my ideal of a scholarly gentleman. His manner was
graceful and dignified; his methods approached as near perfection as
are within human competence. I thought then and still think (perhaps I
ought not to say so) that he was the only personality for whom I have
any special admiration-dignified, learned, modest, a manly man, he
seemed worthy to be president of any institution of learning. He
baptized me into the Baptist church.
It remains to be said that the character and careers of the men who
were students at the College during the presidency of President
Hooper are sufficient evidence of the nature of the influence he
exerted over them. Among them were such men as H. B. Folk, A.
McDowell, S. G. O'Bryan, B. W. Justice, J. J. Davis, John Mitchell,
William Hayes Cheek, W. M. Wingate, W. T. Walters, T. J. Boykin,
J. B. Solomon, J. C. Carlyle. At no time of equal duration in its
history has the College had a group of men who have excelled these
in nobility and usefulness. In politics we hear of "Honest Joe Davis";
no braver and better loved soldier served in the Civil War than
General Cheek; Wingate was like his great teacher in representing the
Baptist faith in its breadth of view, its charity and liberality, its warm
evangelism, its hopeful outlook, its practicality, its sweetness and
light. It is no accident that all these men and most of their fellows
were serious in their purposes, sincere, gentle, pure in heart, and
though humble yet aspiring; whatever natural endowment they may
have had in this way had been quickened by the instruction and
example of Dr. Hooper.
Dr. Hooper left the College on December 15, 1848.8 On his
departure, Professor William T. Brooks, being the only ordained
minister on the College faculty assumed the duties of pastor, and
continued in that service until September 14, 1849.9 That he
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8 Biblical Recorder, December 23, 1848, Adv. of Hooper's Family School.
9 There is no definite statement in the church records to this effect, but the
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