414 History of Wake Forest College
generally recognized by those who advised freshmen on their courses
of study that for certain classes, such as ministerial students, Greek is
indispensable; on that account the number of registrants for courses in
Greek has been large through all the years, and very few institutions
in the country have had as many Latin and Greek students as Wake
Forest College.2
In this period there was a complete change in the faculty of the
department of modern languages. Dr. J. H. Gorrell continued to direct
the entire department until his retirement in 1939, but since 1923 he
had given his attention chiefly to the teaching of German, leaving to
his assistants the teaching of French, which in the years 1929-41 was
the only other modern language taught in the College. Under his
instruction German was surprisingly popular, and the number of
students so great, 274 in 1934-35, 318 in 1935-36 (French
registrations this year were only 285), that in September, 1935, he
called to his aid two teaching fellows, Fritz Dean Hemphill, B.A., and
Paul Douglas Berry, B.A., both of whom assisted him for two years,
while Mr. Berry, appointed instructor in 1937-38, continued in the
work until he was granted a leave in the fall of 1942 to enter the
service of the country. On the retirement of Dr. Gorrell, Mr. James F.
Cook, an M.A. of the University of North Carolina, who had studied
in a German University, was appointed instructor and head of the
German section of the department; in March, 1941, he left to join the
armed forces. He was succeeded by Mr. Robert M. Browning, who
had been instructor in German in Princeton University; he likewise
entered the armed service in the summer of 1943. Both Mr. Browning
and Mr. Berry were efficient and popular instructors.
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2 In 1928, at the meeting of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges in
Fort Worth, the representative of the College told the agent of Ginn and Company
that the registrations for Greek courses in the College numbered about 140; the
agent was skeptical, saying that in many institutions there was no Greek, that in
many of the largest there was no professor of Greek, and that it was the rare
institution that had as many as a dozen Greek students; he was convinced, however,
when he had received from the representative of the College a copy of the printed
report of the college registrar which showed 143 registrations for Greek courses in
the spring semester. In his reply as wrote: "Well, I'll be d-d," etc.
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