88 History of Wake Forest College
was not at all diminished. To the surprise of some, the students of
Greek were about as numerous as usual, and so was the number of
those of studies preliminary to the study of medicine. On the other
hand there was a considerable falling off in the number of students in
the School of Law. Doubtless not a few students who would normally
have come to Wake Forest had gone to institutions better equipped to
train them in technical scientific subjects.
In this situation the revenues of the College were considerably
diminished. Ministerial students paid no tuition, and there were only
half the normal number of those who did pay. Accordingly, there was
a proper concern at the College lest the current expenses could not be
met, and in fact, the Bursar was not able to keep up his practice of
many years' duration in making regular monthly payments of the
salary of faculty members. For once, on December 1, 1917, the
members of the faculty did not receive their checks. They bore the
ordeal stoically and heroically, but at times they said something about
wishing they had enough dollars to buy some articles of Christmas
cheer for their families; as events proved, their hopes were realized. A
week before Christmas dividends on invested funds came in and
every member of the faculty on this Christmas as on others had his
share. For the duration of the war and afterwards they received their
pay regularly.
As the year 1917-18 was closing the prospects of colleges for the
next year were anything but cheering. It was a critical period in
France; in March, 1918, the British lines had been broken and the
Germans had advanced to the Marne for the second time. A larger
American Expeditionary Force was sorely needed. This meant more
conscriptions, for the most part among young men of college age. A
still further depletion of students seemed to face the colleges. Wake
Forest had only 361 students in 1917-18; how many would there be in
1918-19?
In this situation President Wilson again came to the rescue with a
plan to utilize the colleges to train young men ready for their classes
who otherwise would be sent to the training camps.
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