368 History of Wake Forest College
powers. Not all became great public speakers, but some did, and
nearly all acquired ability to order and express their thoughts as they
stood before assemblies of any kind. It was these Societies that
trained such men as Claude Kitchin and Walter Bickett, A. C. Dixon
and L. G. Broughton, E. W. Sikes and W. L. Poteat, Thomas Dixon,
Jr., and J. W. Bailey. By looking at the list of Anniversary debaters
and speakers which is in the footnote one may find the names of many
others who as public speakers powerfully influenced their day and
generation.
In his statement of the value of the Societies Dr. A. T. Robertson
spoke of fellowship, and Judge Webb spoke of the friendships
formed. When the young and timid freshman had been initiated into
the Society of his choice he found himself in a company of friends;
they were "Brother Philomathesians" or "Brother Euzelians"; he was
made to feel that their hearts were warm to him and his heart warmed
to them. He felt that he could talk to them as to brothers, and they
were companionable. They would help him with any of his problems.
Until well into the nineties if a new student escaped hazing until he
had joined a Society he was safe; his society mates would protect him
from indignities and maltreatment. It was these experiences when he
was a neophyte that made "Mother Euzelia" or "Mother
Philomathesia" so dear to him.
Each Society had also its esprit de corps, in part one peculiar to
itself; so that a member of one Society did not feel quite free and easy
in the presence of a member of the other; the Euzelian prided himself
on his polish and culture; the Philomathesian was more democratic. In
most respects, however, this spirit was the same in both Societies.
Both were dignified bodies. They came to order at the fall of the
president's gavel. They stood and were led in solemn prayer by their
duly elected chaplain, one of their own number; the roll was called
and the Society proceeded with its business with all the decorum of
the most majestic parliament in the world. The president's word was
respected, and parliamentary language was required. The president
saw to it that the rights of even the humblest member were not
infringed upon;
Previous Page Next Page