Administration of Charles Elisha Taylor, 1884-1905 249
selection by the gentlemen of the Board of Trustees. The boys are
glad, the faculty rejoices, and the friends of the institution take fresh
courage and resolve to work harder than ever for its success. In truth
an era of good feeling has dawned upon us with his rising beam. . . .
Untiring zeal and energy will doubtless characterize his
administration of affairs, and steady and sure progress maybe
confidently looked for along the lines. His course so far and the quiet
dignity with which he conducts the College have already confirmed
us in our belief. His rule is strong and firm, and yet not felt by the vast
majority of boys.... The future looks bright and it makes our hearts
feel glad to know that President Taylor is going to be at the helm and
will steer the College safely." Speaking with reserve Editor Bailey of
the Biblical Recorder said: "He is known and loved by his brethren in
the State as a man of splendid attainments and special gifts in the
management of young men. His leading characteristics are his piety,
gentleness and conservatism."
A fortnight before his election to the presidency of Wake Forest
College on November 11, 1884, Professor Taylor was forty-two years
old. His personality was strong. Though his body seemed somewhat
frail he showed no signs of physical weakness except a slight deafness
which was to increase with the years. His eye was much keener in
vision than that of ordinary men and until the end, when he was more
than seventy years of age, he was able to read with the naked eye print
most people could read only with a magnifying glass. His brow was
large and somewhat overshadowing; his well-kept reddish beard was
abundant; his expression was always masterful. The student looked on
him and said: Here is a great man, and a wise one; they saw that he
had a dignity which could not be invaded by undue familiarity or
presumption; that he was a born gentleman. Even the most obtuse
soon learned that in President Taylor's presence he too must be a
gentleman; very many prized the transforming influence of his
presence. Falling in with a freshman on the walks of the Campus lie
would converse with him with the same grave courtesy he would have
shown a governor, and the dross was cleared from the student's
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