270 History of Wake Forest College
separately operated under the charge of Professor W. L. Poteat, who
was offering courses extending through two years. In Botany and
Zoology microscopes and slides were already in use, and "painless
dissections of the lower animals" formed a part of every student's
work. In Botany the student was required not merely to "analyze the
flowering plants, but also to learn, with the aid of the microscope, the
morphology and physiology of typical members of the lower groups."
This department did not have the use of an entire building of its
own during the administration of President Taylor, and in fact, not
until the removal of the School of Medicine in 1941 left the William
Amos Johnson Building free for its occupation. It was, however,
provided with ampler quarters than it had enjoyed up till that time in
1888, in the Lea Laboratory, which had just been completed. Finding
the department greatly cramped here, President Taylor with the
earnest cooperation of Professor Poteat, was asking for a separate
building at the Commencement of 1892, but being blocked in their
purpose in the manner indicated in the footnote, they had to wait until
1906, when the completion of the new Alumni Building provided
quarters only fairly adequate for nearly forty years longer.11 Except
for the help of student
―――――――
11 The provision of a separate building for Biology had often and earnestly been
urged by President Taylor and others who knew the needs of the department. As
early as June 1887, he brought the matter to the attention of the Trustees. In his
report to the Board in June, 1892, he said: "We must provide ampler quarters for the
popular and very important School of Natural History." When the Board adjourned
without taking action, and Rev. W. R. Gwaltney, pastor of the Wake Forest Baptist
Church, brought the proposition to erect the building before the Alumni
Association, it was defeated by the persistent opposition of Dr. J. D. Hufham, who
urged that any effort in that direction would end in failure, and that with such a
teacher as Professor Poteat no special building was needed. Poteat urged that "Not
failure but low aim is crime," but unavailingly. The graduating class, of which the
writer was a member, were present and heard that discussion. Many of them
expressed disgust at the obstructionist tactics used. It was full ten years before the
matter came before the Alumni Association again and received favorable action,
which resulted in the erection of the present Alumni Building. In his report to the
Board in May, 1903, President Taylor had said: "There is immediate and imperative
need for a new building. There is no longer room in the Lea Laboratory for both
Chemistry and Biology. The School of Chemistry could use with advantage every
inch of available space in that building. A special building for Biology,
Previous Page Next Page