On the death of President Wingate, Dr. W. G. Simmons became
chairman of the faculty. The progress of the College for the remainder
of the scholastic year is indicated in his report to the Board of
Trustees at the commencement meeting, June 10. The Heck-Williams
Building was complete; the libraries of the Literary Societies had
been consolidated and were to be moved to the second story of the
central portion of the new building; patronage had increased during
the past three years and the number of students during the spring term
had been 109, and for the year 117, the greatest since the Civil War;
the number of ministerial students was 20; during the spring term
there had been a gracious religious revival with Dr. Henry McDonald
of Richmond doing the preaching; the tutors for the year had been W.
L. Poteat, at a salary of $400, whose work had been "very efficient,"
and N. Y. Gulley, salary $200; the graduating class numbered 12, the
largest in the history of the College.
As the chief concern was securing a president the Trustees did very
little other business. It was voted that a law class be established at as
early a date as possible, following up a proposition to establish a
school of law which had been referred to a committee at a meeting on
April 17, 1879. The sum of $1,000 coming to the college by bequest
of Jesse Barnes of Hertford County, who died May 30, 1863, was
added to the endowment.1 Following up the action of the Trustees on
March 1, 1879, that halls in the new building should be given to the
Literary Societies in consideration of the consolidation of their
libraries, the upper story of the central portion of that building was set
apart for the library and the first floor for a reading room, while the
1 Proceedings, p. 206.
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