"How Far Should a State Undertake to Educate" 307
Aycock, Gen. F. F. Toon, an alumnus of Wake Forest College, was
elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and until his death,
February 19, 1902, served with much zeal and wisdom.13
It is wrong to call the campaign excited by President Taylor's
treatise a fight against the University. It was not a fight against the
University to urge that its friends should support it in the same way as
the friends of the denominational colleges supported them―by
private contributions. Properly it was a fight against appropriations to
the University and other tax-supported higher educational institutions.
The fight did not result in discontinuance of all appropriations, and it
is certain very few ever contemplated or desired anything of the kind.
Most people knew that the political influence of the friends of the
University was too strong, and the most they hoped for was that the
appropriations to the State schools should not be used to toll away the
patronage and imperil the existence of the denominational colleges. In
this the fight was a success; it was generally recognized that the
denominational colleges had deserved well of the State and that the
State's educational policy should not be destructive to them, but
should help promote their welfare. Accordingly, for some years
appropriations for the State schools were kept low; they have
gradually grown larger until now they amount to a great sum, and
with the good will of the denominational colleges, since with the high
schools pouring out their thousands of graduates every year our
colleges always have as many students as they can adequately provide
The immediate effect of the discussion aroused by Dr. Taylor's
articles was to rally the friends of the College to renewed loyalty and
enthusiasm.14 In general it worked for the welfare of the institution,
since it revealed unmistakably to politicians and
13 “He assumed the duties of his office in January, 1901. As leader of the forces
of light and knowledge in the battle against the forces of darkness and ignorance, he
manifested the same patriotic zeal, the same dauntless courage, and the same noble
devotion to duty that had won for him the love and everlasting gratitude of his
people long before on the field of blood and carnage." J. Y. Joyner, Report of the
Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina, 1900-1901, iii-iv.
14 President Taylor's report to Board, May 30, 1893.
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