586 History of Wake Forest College
The passing scenes that give joy and welcome to the present, said he, are mixed
with the thronging memories of the past. It seems that I am almost living over again
the halcyon days that I passed among the cooling shades of these memorable oaks,
and the halls of science and philosophy of this noble Institution. The electric links
of memory bring before me the familiar faces that met me at every turn. The hearty
laugh of the informal crowd-the chosen few who shared my entire confidence-the
pealing note of the bell that summoned me to study or recreation-the numerous
incidents and places which the waves of time had well nigh effaced from the shore
of memory, are all, with many more impressions, brought back in all their interest
and freshness; and I stand again upon the theatre of my earlier efforts, with the
radiance of those happy days beaming around me.
Among those early impressions are recorded in unfading characters the
recollections of devoted Instructors. Never can I fail to remember with gratitude
those good and faithful men under whose skillful direction I drank here at the
bubbling fountain of knowledge. Now, that public munificence has placed the
College on a higher career of usefulness and distinction, let us cherish in grateful
remembrance the labors of former Professors and Presidents. With stinted salaries,
but heroic devotion, they adhered to her destinies through all her trials. Hosts of
warmly attached friends are now looking forward with bright anticipations as to her
future. Never before was she so deeply grounded in public confidence. Give her a
high position among the very best institutions of the country. Still let us not forget
the claims of the men of the past.
One of my Professors, the pure and scientific White, has sought a home among
the more enterprising people of the Northwest. A talented and high-toned
gentleman, he was an honor to the College and a blessing to the State. Another, the
venerable ex-President Wait, still lingers among the hallowed walks of his former
triumphs and present usefulness. His locks have whitened, and his cheeks are
furrowed by his anxious cares and labors for the College. When timid friends turned
away, and enemies opposed, he threw himself into the breach, and risked his all in
her behalf. Almost solitary and alone he laid the foundation. For many years he
struggled with a manly and devoted determination for her promotion. She now
stands forth as a noble monument of his piety and patriotism. Long may he live to
receive the praises and congratulations of affectionate pupils and Christian men.
When his earthly sun shall set the faithful biographer will have ample materials for
a glowing chapter of his self-sacrificing and successful exertions in the cause of
education and religion.
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