250 History of Wake Forest College
heart and he knew that he was not mean but a prince, or could become
a prince in Dr. Taylor's presence. He had that strength of character
that enabled him to inspire respect in every one. His piety was real; so
was his interest in the students; lie was always ready to talk with them
sympathetically of their work and plans, to appreciate their honest
efforts even though blundering, and to foster all healthful sports and
recreations among them, and he knew how to stimulate them to make
the very most of their lives. His genuine kindness of heart was
revealed to them in many ways and especially by his visit to them
when they were sick. All loved and respected a man who had such
dominant qualities as thoroughness, honesty, faithfulness, firmness,
patience, sanity and an unfailing mastery of situations. Sometimes the
severer qualities of his manhood were revealed. The following case is
typical of his intolerance of irreverence. Some student at the chapel
hour had made some slight but willful disturbance in the rear of the
hall. "I remember," said one who was present, "to this day Dr.
Taylor's whole figure, and I incline to think I see it more clearly in
this figure than anywhere else. His whole figure became as rigid as
steel, his complexion went white, his lips almost purple, his beard
quivered, and his deep blue eyes flashed fire. He did not speak a
word. But the combination of indignation at the irreverence and the
heart-hurt, coupled with inflexible integrity, remains with me today to
constitute a portrait of a great character." 4
Such were the personal traits of President Taylor as seen by the
students of the years of his presidency. Already before he entered
upon the administration he had won a commanding position in the
faculty and had formulated some of those wise policies which started
the College on its career of progress. Now, as president, he had a freer
hand in developing and expanding
4 The various points in this estimate of Dr. Taylor's personality and many of the
phrases are taken from a great number of testimonials from students who knew
him―R. T. Vann, E. M. Poteat, R. L. Paschal, Gerald Johnson, Chas. A. Smith, W.
D. Burns―which appeared in the "Taylor Memorial Wake Forest Student," March,
Previous Page Next Page