Reopening and Reorganization 15
on January 15, and the commencement was on the second Thursday
in June. The only holidays were December 25-26, and February 14-
Anniversary Day-and beginning with 1876-77, Easter Monday, and in
1895 a "Field Day" towards the close of April. For a score of years
the students bore with patience this year of work, with only the scant
vacation of two days at Christmas, but after the establishment of the
Wake Forest Student in 1882 they began to complain, and to petition
the faculty for a longer vacation. It was on December 21, 1887, when
their petition for a longer Christmas vacation, one full week, was
presented to the faculty, and granted. After this, until the session of
1896-97, the formality of making and granting this petition went on;
after that year the calendar provided for holidays December 22-31.
It was not without some dissent that the exercises of the College
were resumed in January, 1866. In fact, it seems that some argued
strongly that the College should not be opened now, if ever; that the
Trustees had badly managed its financial affairs; that the Baptists of
the State with many sacrifices had furnished money for endowment
which had been badly invested and lost, and that they need not now
expect the impoverished people to listen to further importunities to
contribute of their means for the support of the College. Yes, replied
the friends of the institution, the loss had been great, but it was the
result of the failure of the Confederacy and was no one's fault;
furthermore, enough of the invested funds had been salvaged to make
the financial condition better than at any previous period except for
two or three years before the Civil War. The College "has the same
faculty it has had for years past, all Christian men in the prime of life,
with minds matured and energies undiminished and with increased
incentives to make them faithful and efficient." The College has done
much for the Baptists of the State; it has equipped and trained three-
fourths of the younger men who have come on the field of action in
the churches in the past twenty-five years. "Shall we, then for a
moment, entertain the idea of dispensing with it?"20
Wingate, too, had something to say on the matter: as for endow-
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20
Archibald McDowell in the Biblical Recorder of February 22, 1866.
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