250 History of Wake Forest College
Though few in number almost all upon whom the College has
conferred the degree of Doctor of Letters are men of recognized
distinction, among them being such creative writers as Henry Jerome
Stockard in poetry, and James Boyd and Harold E. Porter in fiction;
Gamaliel Bradford, and Gerald W. Johnson, in historical sketches and
biography; J. Q. Adams, and A. T. Robertson, and R. P. McCutcheon
in scholastic treatises, and that editor statesman, Clarence Poe. In the
field of science hardly more men worthy of the degree could be found
than H. A. Royster, Collier Cobb and Irving Hardesty. Worthy and
distinguished also are those upon whom has been conferred the
degree of Doctor of Education, R. L. Moore in secondary education
and junior college, R. L. Paschal in senior high school work and J. H.
Highsmith who for many years has been director of the public high
schools of North Carolina. Honoring that able and faithful head of the
State School for the Deaf and Dumb at Morganton, E. McK.
Goodwin, with the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters gave much
satisfaction.
For one period of four years, 1908-11, the College conferred no
honorary degrees. But this was through no plan of the faculty. Under
the charter of the College the faculty "by and with the consent of the
Trustees," has the power of conferring degrees. The initiative is with
the faculty; approval with the Trustees, who have almost without
exception given it. But in 1908, the Trustees unexpectedly withheld
approval of the entire group of four whom the faculty had
recommended, four worthy men, and all after some years approved by
the Trustees when the faculty being urged by certain members of the
Board recommended them the second time. As it was generally
known that the faculty had made these recommendations their
rejection caused considerable embarrassment to the men themselves
and their friends and the faculty and Trustees. In consequence, the
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two little dogs of the battleship lost their lives, one by running off the deck, the
other by a fit induced by the shock of gunfire, and how both had glorious
interments. The profits from the sale seem to have been nothing; at least the College
got nothing as its fourth part; the author did not donate a copy to the
Library.
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