274 History of Wake Forest College
in the Bulletin; and in accord with his wish they and his inaugural
address as he was assuming the presidency were published in a
posthumous volume with the title, Youth and Culture, in 1938. A
selection from President Taylor's addresses was published in the
Taylor Memorial Number of the Wake Forest Student, March,
1916.17
With the dropping of the distinctions of valedictorian and salu-
tatorian in 1901, the faculty instituted a system of honors based on
average grades-summa cum laude for those whose average is not
below 98; magna cum laude for those whose average is under 98 but
as much as 95; cum laude for those whose average is
―――――――
17 Usually the baccalaureate addresses are chiefly of the character indicated in the
text, but at times Wake Forest presidents have made departures, especially to warn
against invasion of false elements into the realm of education. At the
commencement of 1876 President Wingate had sensed the danger of intercollegiate
athletics and had this to say:
"It is a strange thing, but some of our colleges, some of our oldest, are for trying
men by their muscle-pluck and endurance they call it. Why, college regattas from
some of our foremost institutions have of late had the shores of picturesque lakes
and rivers crowded with breathless expectants to tell with loud huzzas what boats,
what panting boys shall cross a line first. Grave judges and senators, college
professors and presidents, newspapers, the Tribunes and Heralds, bring the
champions welcome, and greet them and fete them with a holocaust of praise,
enough to make the heads of old men dizzy and which no literary aspirant need
hope to win. Is it not time to ask if in colleges in literary centers muscle is to take
the place of brains?"
President Taylor also had something to say about athletics in the discussion of an
Ideal College, which he made the theme of his address to the graduating class of
1895, in which he said:
"Will athletics live in the Ideal Christian College? Yea, abide and flourish. The
monastic idea that the soul belongs to God and the body to the devil is dead; but its
results are not. The ideal college will teach each student to aim for bodily strength,
vigor, activity, grace, beauty. And as an end to this athletics will receive every
encouragement. But they are prone to fall from grace and need to be soundly
converted. When this happens, intercollegiate football-a brutal game when played
by strong men-will leave all Christian colleges and come back no more. Hired
professionals or semi-professionals will under no subterfuges or pretexts be found
on their teams. The colleges of the future must either relinquish their claim to be
considered as Christian institutions, or else they must practice on their athletic
grounds the same principles that they teach in their lectures on ethics. Yet doubt it
not that the Ideal College will win its victories. But its pennants will wave all the
more proudly, because in every case they shall have been won by unpaid students in
honorable conflict."
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