The War of 1914-18 93
classes understand what college work means the Armistice came,
after which any effort to keep those who had come primarily fo
military training to their studies was futile. These men, about half the
number of the S.A.T.C., thought of nothing but of getting their
discharge and back home. They wanted no credit for their academic
work, and left as soon as possible, most of them before the end of the
month of November. In this demoralization the College continued its
fall term only twelve weeks, and on December 17 suspended
exercises for the Christmas holidays, making preparations for a longer
spring term than usual to make up the college year. The students who
remained till the suspension of exercises took the usual examinations
and were given due credit for the work passed.6 It was a great change
from the regular schedule of the College to the military regime
rendered necessary by the S.A.T.C. The following from the Wake
Forest Student, XXXVIII, 16ff., February, 1919, somewhat abridged,
tells how it affected the students:
What Wake Forest lacked of being thoroughly democratic was entirely done
away with in the melting pot of the war. The spirit of good fellowship and equality
was prevalent as never before. . . . Dormitories were constituted barracks. The
mellow tones of the college bell. gave way to the more commanding notes of the
bugle. Kitchen police, reveille, and other military terms became painfully familiar,
and soon the realization that we were at war was brought about. Debate was
adjourned, studies were adapted to the demands of the Government, and the student
quickly applied himself to the mastery of the "soldier's bible," the Infantry Drill
Regulations. Then came the uniform, and with it came responsibilities and also an
unmistakable pride. True, the design was not adapted to all types of physical beauty,
but it carried with it a genuine certificate of patriotism. New ideas of efficiency
were quickly formed as the army regulations were applied, and the College began to
play a part in the prosecution of the war.
6 The view of R. P. Burns, editor of the Wake Forest student in the issue for
February, 1919, that the college work during the S.A.T.C. period was worthless was
probably a deduction from too few instances. He said: "The S.A.T.C. has come and
gone.... During the fall the college was not a school but a military camp. The school
work, while the faculty used every power at their disposal to make it effective, was
without doubt a failure.... The acquirements were chiefly military, the school part of
the training only a makeshift." Many members of the faculty had another view.
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