Dr. William Louis Poteat was unmistakably indicated to succeed
Dr. Charles E. Taylor as President of Wake Forest College. He was
born of cultured parents, J. P. and Julia A. McNeill, who were
actively interested in religion and education and social welfare, near
Yanceyville in Caswell County on October 20, 1856. For the most
part in his own home he obtained the schooling that fitted him for
college, and, when not yet sixteen years; of age, in 1872 he entered
Wake Forest. From this institution he received the degree of Bachelor
of Arts in June, 1877, and the degree of Master of Arts in June, 1889.
In 1905 he had received the degree of Doctor of Laws from Baylor
University, and I may add here, he received a like honor from the
University of North Carolina in 1906 and from Brown University in
1927. He also received the same degree from Duke University, and
the degree of Doctor of Literature from Mercer University. During the
year 1877-78, he was engaged in reading law, but he had been a
member of the faculty of the College since 1878: Tutor, 1878-80;
Assistant Professor, 1880-83; and Professor of Natural History, from
June, 1883. He had served as keeper of rolls, as secretary of the
faculty and also as clerk of the Wake Forest Baptist Church, and as
Chairman of the Faculty with administrative duties during the
frequent prolonged absences of President Taylor in the interest of the
endowment. He served as Curator of the Library, 1877-1901. He had
also represented the faculty on the editorial staff of the Wake Forest
Student from its establishment in January, 1882, for most of the years
until September, 1896, and for the first dozen years had conducted in
it a department known as "Science Notes." He had often been called
upon to represent the College before churches and associations and
conventions and educational institutions both in and out of North
Carolina, while his ability as a thinker and speaker caused him
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