The Growing College 287
and work required for their completion; none of them was easy; none
catered to lack of ability and industry; all had the "elective principle
so guarded as to make it impossible to secure a diploma by
eliminations fatal to solid learning."
20
It was thought however that the
variation was sufficient to meet the desires of students of various
aptitudes. For all the groups the prescribed studies included in varying
amounts Latin, a second foreign language, mathematics, English,
first-year courses in each of the three sciences regarded as
fundamental-chemistry, biology, physics---moral philosophy, and
history. These courses constituted about two-thirds of the work
required for the degree, and beginning with the catalogue of 1896-97
they are grouped together as prescribed while the remaining third of
the work was to be made up from a group of studies marked as
electives, the only limitation being that among the electives chosen
must be a certain number of advanced courses. It was the evident
purpose of the president and faculty to keep the curriculum and the
prescription for the degrees on a par with those of the best institutions
of the country, so far as was possible for a college with the rather
meager equipment and small faculty of Wake Forest College.
President Taylor gained much from a study of the Harvard curriculum
and the suggestions of President Eliot, and he even visited Harvard to
learn of the working of the elective system
there.21
In his efforts to improve the course of studies President Taylor was
actuated by his high ideal of having the College serve the students. He
often gave expression to this, as for instance in his report to the Board
of Trustees in June, 1888, in which he says "We have sought to adapt
the College in all respects to the actual needs of our young men." He
did not believe that the standards of the College would be impaired by
conservatism in adopting new educational departures, which however
good in other sections
―――――――
20
Catalogue of 1892-93.
21 For a comprehensive statement of changes made in the requirements for
degrees and courses of study during President Taylor's administration, see his
article, "Development of the Curriculum," Bulletin of Wake Forest College, III,
113ff., July, 1908.
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