138 History of Wake Forest College
than one or two members outside of the ministers qualified to teach
such a school. What is true of this Association is probably true of
more than half the Associations of the State."
It was announced in 1872 that Mars Hill was vacant and had been
for more than a year, waiting for some one to come and occupy. Two
years later it was reported that, "Mars Hill College, Madison County,
a Baptist institution has been presented to the Grand Lodge of North
Carolina to be used as an orphan asylum for the western part of the
State. By request of Mr. Mills, General R. B. Vance will organize the
working force of the new asylum and put it into running order." 12
While the plan to make an orphan asylum of Mars Hill College
miscarried, the school did not get back regularly to work until 1890.
Various other suggestions were offered for improving the at-
tendance; W. H. Avera, a trustee, thought the faculty made a great
mistake in having one term of 40 weeks instead of two terms of 20
weeks, and that the College was losing students by
E. Taylor advised that a copy of the college catalogue be sent to every
Baptist preacher in the State, that they be circularized, with the hope
of getting the needed students.14 Another suggestion was that every
student should bring at least one student back to the College with him
on his return from vacation. Others appealed to denominational pride :
there were 85,000 white Baptists in the State, and in their families
14,000 boys, but in 1877 there were only seven to graduate from
Wake Forest College; this is one to 2,000; the Presbyterians with
Davidson College had one to 300.
As a practical means of increasing the number of students the
faculty encouraged boarding in clubs. Beginning in an irregular way
in 1871 with two clubs, in which were some of the best young men,
the plan was soon in successful operation, and with interruptions
continued for many years. At first the cost of table fare in these clubs
was seven dollars a month, but in later years,
11 Ibid., February 7, 1877.
12 Ibid., September 4, 1872; November 25, 1874.
Ibid., June 19, 1872.
Ibid., July 22, 1874.