Students, Graduates, Faculty, Publications 335
in the case of eight or ten students the Master of Arts was an
undergraduate degree, for which a greater amount of work, usually
completed in four years, was required. Improvement in the general
character of the students is shown by the fact that there was a
continued increase in the percent of them who remained for
graduation, from 10.4 per cent in 1885 and 8 per cent in 1886 to 14
per cent and more after 1900; the per cent for all the years was 13.83
per
cent.2
Of the graduates of these years 163, or 29 per cent, became
ministers of the Gospel. Towards the close of the century there was a
decline in the per cent of ministers among the graduates, but
otherwise it was fairly constant. In the early '90's the per cent
averaged about 35. For 1892 it was approximately 39, 14 in a class of
36. Of the 14 ministers in this class average of intelligence and
scholarship and achievement in their life work was very high. These
fourteen were W. R. Cullom, J. W. Millard, J. Paul Spence, J. G.
Blalock, W. R. Bradshaw, J. S. Corpening, C. D. Graves, J. E. Green,
James Long, E. S. Reaves, E. F. Rice, M. A. Adams, J. A. Mason, G.
W. Sowell. Though in scholarship and literary productions none of
these achieved eminence, yet nearly all came to be the trusted leaders
in their fields of work. Cullom was the first Professor of Bible at the
College and in the South, and continued as head of that department till
his retirement in 1938, a period of forty-two years, seeing it grow
from small beginnings to one of the most important departments in
the College. Millard was a successful pastor of large city churches,
first in Baltimore and later in Atlanta. Bradshaw, until his death,
March, 1942, was for many years the trusted Baptist leader of the
section of which Morganton is the center. There is no space in this
volume to tell of the services of all the ministers among the graduates
of these years, nor even to mention their names, but their general
character may be seen from the following taken almost at random: J.
L. White, M.A., 1886, a most powerful
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2 'The number of degrees granted by the years was as follows: 1885, 14; 1886,
14; 1887, 18; 1888, 20; 1889, 29; 1890, 26; 1891, 20; 1892, 36; 1893, 23; 1894, 28;
1895, 22; 1896, 29; 1897, 47; 1898, 57; 1899, 48; 1900, 33; 1901, 35; 1902, 39;
1903, 45; 1904, 44; 1905, 39.
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