8 History of Wake Forest College
since the kingdom of heaven is the great unifying, inspiring idea of
the centuries, the Christian college is organically bound up with the
aim of a coming realization of a regenerate social order. Under the
head of culture he took pains to declare that the threatened
estrangement of culture and Christianity had been avoided by the
better understanding of the two. In carefully chosen words he said:
"Christianity has dropped the antiquated view of the world which for
centuries was associated with it, and has now annexed the whole
realm of culture." In its relation to the state, he contended, the
Christian college furnished citizens with high ideals of social
regeneration. He recognized that mere culture was no safeguard
against anarchy, and argued that the Christian college has as its
mission giving to the individual that moral training which fits men not
only for work in the church but for "civic employment" also.
The address impressed those who heard it as a restrained statement
of ideals and hopes; and those who have followed his course know
that these were no idle words; it was the constant aim of his
administration to see that these ideals and hopes were realized in the
lives and character of the students of the College. This was the easier,
since Wake Forest at that time had few more than 300 students, who
were not too many to come directly under the personal and
administrative influence of the president.
The administration of President Potent was to continue until June,
1927, twenty-two years, a longer period of active administration that
that of any other president. Wingate had begun as acting president in
July, 1854, and remained in office until his death, February, 1879,
nearly twenty-five years, but the exercises of the College had been
suspended from May, 1862, until January, 1866, and Wingate did not
resume his active administration until January, 1867, which makes his
term hardly more than twenty years. President Taylor served nearly
twenty-one years, 1884 to 1905.
In the following account the events of President Poteat's ad-
ministration are introduced in the chronological order in which they
came to the attention of those who had part in them. In
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