Administration of William Louis Poteat 7
opening of the session on August 30, but arrived within the week.
Following a custom already common in 1905, but previously
observed by the College only in the case of President T. H. Pritchard,
the inauguration exercises, mentioned above, were held for the formal
induction of the new president into his office. The date was December
7, 1905, at which time the Baptist State Convention then in session at
Raleigh adjourned to Wake Forest to attend in a body. Many alumni
and distinguished visitors were also present, and these added to those
of the college community filled Wingate Memorial Hall to
overflowing. A long academic procession, unknown at Wake Forest
since antebellum days, conducted the president to the music of the
Tannhaiiser March. H. M. Poteat, a son of the president, was at the
organ. It was a happy occasion. The invocation was by a brother of
the president, President E. M. Poteat of Furman University; those who
represented the Trustees and the faculty were Dr. W. C. Tyree, Dr. R.
T. Vann, Professor W. B. Royall. Dr. Charles E. Taylor's brief address
was read by Dr. W. C. Tyree in his absence on account of illness.
Congratulatory speeches were made by Governor R. B. Glenn,
President F. P. Venable of the University of North Carolina, President
Henry Louis Smith of Davidson College, President George H. Denny
of Washington and Lee.4
Of chief interest was the declaration of principles and policies in the
inaugural address of the new president. Its general topic was "The
place of the Christian College in the Modern World." After giving a
comprehensive definition of a Christian College, the speaker treated
his subject under the three aspects of religion, culture and the state.
Considering the matter from the aspect of religion, he declared that
"The Christian college is the safest place for a young man in the
formative period of his life." And
For full program of the occasion see Bulletin of Wake Forest College for
1906. A more circumstantial account, with some inaccuracies and exaggerations
was made for The News and Observer of December 8, 1905, by Edward L. Conn,
and republished in the Wake Forest Student for December, 1905. There is a brief
account also in the Biblical Recorder of December 12, 1905.