386 History of Wake Forest College
of selecting trustees; that every Baptist in the State felt that his son
had the right to admission to Wake Forest College and to the
enjoyment of its training, without being subjected to possible
rejection on a scheme of limitation and selection of students; to turn
away any honest Baptist boy, who met the usual standards for
admisison to colleges and the University of North Carolina, would be
to invite the hostility to the College not only of the individuals chiefly
concerned but of entire Associations; and that to reject just one
worthy ministerial student would be certain to bring prompt
expression of sore displeasure by the Baptist State Convention and
this might be disastrous for the very life of the College in serving the
Baptists who founded it. The remedy was not limitation of number of
students but provision for all that might come.
It was evident that President Gaines saw that these considerations
were not without force, but he persisted in the purpose announced in
his inaugural address, though he said nothing further on limitation of
the number of students in his report to the Trustees in May, 1929.
Possibly he was content that the executive committee had already
endorsed his plan and that the dean discussed the subject in his report.
The Trustees, however, were in no hurry to adopt the plan; they
appointed a committee to report on it a year later, but, owing to the
direction affairs took, this committee never reported. Before another
year it became obvious to all what was involved in even the
discussion of limiting the number of students.
The catalogues show that there was a constant falling off in the
number of students during Gaines's three years at the College. In the
last year of Poteat's administration, 1926-27, the enrollment in the
regular session was 742, and the number of freshmen 230; with the
last year of Gaines's administration the numbers were 617 enrolled
and 178 freshmen; 125 fewer students and 152 fewer freshmen.11 The
diminution in the number of students, however, had a serious
financial import, as may be seen in the
―――――――
11
These figures are from the catalogues; for 1929-30, President Gaines reported
621 instead of 617 students.
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