372 History of Wake Forest College
E. S. Alderman, J. L. White, J. W. Lynch, John E. White, J. W.
Millard, and J. Clyde Turner, who have been among the denomina-
tion's ablest preachers; others who attained prominence, some of them
nation-wide distinction, because of their able mastery and discussion
of public questions, men like W. W. Kitchin, Claude Kitchin, T. W.
Bickett, J. H. Kerr, J. W. Bailey, E. Y. Webb, I. M. Meekins, J. J.
Hayes, and J. M. Broughton; still others who were scholars,
educators, editors, men like J. B. Carlyle, E. W. Sikes, J. L. Kesler,
Fred L. Merritt, and H. E. Flack. These men and many times as many
others whose names might be mentioned did the work their Societies
required of them, did it cheerfully, did it gladly, did it well, with the
conviction that they were getting the best possible training for
positions of leadership in their active life.
On the Friday nearest the 14th of February the Societies celebrated
the anniversary of their founding. Beginning, as has been said above
in 1854, the celebration was public. Until 1872 this public celebration
consisted only of speeches by orators of each society, and a social
reception in the halls, but in that year a debate was added, the debate
being in the afternoon and the orations in the evening. An entire day
was given to the celebration, and as there were no classes on Saturday
until about 1910 the celebration period was really three days.
With a sense of the importance of the occasion the Societies chose
the speakers-the orators and debaters, and the president and secretary
of debate the previous May, and always after strenuous contests, for
the places were eagerly sought after by the ablest speakers and
debaters. Each Society chose two debaters, one from the graduating
class of the next year, known as the first debater, and one from the
junior class of next year, known as the second debater. The first
debater from one society was paired with the second debater of the
other Society, doubtless with the purpose of forestalling any great
exhibition of partisanship in public. In the even-numbered years the
first debater of