On accepting the resignation of President William Louis Poteat to
take effect at the close of the scholastic year 1926-27, the Trustees at
their meeting in Wilmington on November 16, 1926, appointed a
committee of five to recommend a new president. This committee
consisted of J. A. Campbell, ex officio chairman, G. T. Stephenson, J.
Rufus Hunter, M. L. Kesler, and C. H. Durham. At the same time the
Board expressed the view that there should be at least two meetings of
the Board to consider the election. At the time of the commencement
of 1927, it had no recommendation to make, and was continued with
the power to call a meeting of the Board to hear their report when it
should be ready.
At this meeting of the Board, however, it was known that the
committee had not found a person they thought fit to recommend, but
they did state the qualifications which they desired should be
possessed by one who was to be president of the College, which were
these: He should be an outstanding Christian leader, in thorough
sympathy with the Baptist denomination and its cooperative
enterprises; a trained and experienced educator; a ripe and cultured
scholar; a man of acknowledged executive and administrative ability;
and, other things being equal, a man young enough to give promise of
a long administration. It was the one available man who most nearly
satisfied these qualifications that the committee unanimously
recommended to the Board and was unanimously elected as the next
president of the College at a called meeting in Raleigh on June 25,
1927. This was Francis Pendleton Gaines. Of him the Committee had
this further to report:
Dr. Gaines is a Bachelor of Arts of Richmond College, Master of Arts of the
University of Chicago, and Doctor of Philosophy in American Literature of
Columbia University.
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