On Tuesday evening, November 30, 1875, at a meeting of students,
members of the faculty and other citizens of Wake Forest was
organized the North Carolina Baptist Students' Aid Association, under
which name it was chartered by the next state Legislature, March 5,
On revision of the charter in 1887 the name was changed to
The North Carolina Baptist Student Aid Fund, which in turn was in
1925 changed to The James W. Denmark Loan Fund, in honor of its
chief promoter and
Mr. Denmark had come to know the
need of such a fund from the difficulty he had and saw other young
men having in their efforts to get an education. A native of Wayne
County he was called to the defense of his "State and country" in
1864, at the early age of seventeen, and he had come out of the war in
1865 with nothing except the dirty clothes he had on. His education
had been meager, "parts of nine terms of three months each of the
commonest of common schools," in which he had been taught and
learned little more than nothing. But he felt the need of an education,
and after heroic struggles he was able to enter Wake Forest College in
August, 1871, as a preparatory student, and with enough money to
carry him for four years of the six that lay between him and
graduation. He had not been at college long before he began to
wonder why the students were so few, when the need for educated
men was so great. He soon learned that while many young men were
intensely desirous of an education they had no means of getting it. In
many instances their fathers, though able, were unwilling to help
them, and the young men could not borrow for themselves. It was in
Laws of North Carolina. Session 1876-77. Chapter LV of Private Laws. A
comprehensive sketch of "The Students' Aid Association," written by Mr. Denmark,
is found in the Wake Forest Student, XXX, 371ff, January 1911.
2 J. H. Gorrell, The Student Loan Funds of Wake Forest College, which contains
Mr. Denmark's own account.
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