214 History of Wake Forest College
and rings and put them in the Campus, and "finding the exercise very
beneficial," they were eager to try some gymnastics on a larger
scale.13 Professor Poteat thought it worth while to give warning in an
editorial expression in the Wake Forest Student for November, 1883,
that it was not certain that Herbert Spencer approved this system of
physical culture, which was a poor substitute for "what is natural and
far better, namely, the game and race with shout and laughter on the
play-ground." After further argument he continued: "The moral is not
far off. If a gymnasium is to be of any real and permanent advantage,
it must have a director whose business it is to point out the exercises
suited to each physical condition, and see that they are prosecuted
with due diligence." However, though an article on the Gymnasium
began to appear in the catalogues of the College with that of 1884-85,
it was not until the academic year of 1889-90 that a director of
Physical Culture was provided, a subject to which reference will be
made later. In the meantime, according to the catalogues the
gymnasium was provided with "the most approved apparatus" and
students had access to it in the afternoons. In three or four years the
apparatus was worn out and the enthusiasm of the students was no
longer strong.
The semi-centennial of the establishment of Wake Forest Institute
fell on February 3, 1884. As this was a Sunday the faculty, who had
taken up the matter at their meeting on January 11, 1884, fixed the
celebration for Monday, February 4, and referred the arrangement of
the program to a committee consisting of Professors Mills, Royall and
Poteat. The celebration was at the College. The Chairman of the
Faculty, Professor W. B. Royall, presided. The long meter doxology
was sung. The prayer was by Dr. T. E. Skinner. Dr. R. T. Vann, pastor
of the Wake Forest Baptist Church, read the 34th Psalm. First on the
program was Rev. J. S. Purefoy, who spoke on the subject. "The
College-its Birth," and he handled it in an able, comprehensive and
interesting manner. Next on the program was George W.
―――――――
13
Ibid. January, 1884.
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