146 THE HISTORY OF WAKE FOREST COLLEGE
gradual decline in the percentage of Baptist students at all seven of
the convention-affiliated colleges, now at an average of 56 percent.
The range was from a low of 44 percent at Wake Forest to a high of
79 percent at Mars Hill, with these figures in between: Campbell
College, 55 percent; Chowan, 52 percent; Gardner-Webb, 75 percent;
Meredith, 58 percent; and Wingate, 58 percent.
Several factors were said to have contributed to the decline at Wake
Forest (down from 8o percent a decade earlier):
1. In the religious climate of our day it is no longer an expression of
denominational disloyalty for Baptist students to attend other than Baptist
colleges. Such factors as a student's major field of study and tuition costs
often lead him to a non-Baptist institution.
2. Many more students are commuting to college, thereby influencing
them to choose one within driving distance.
3. The tensions between Wake Forest College and the Baptist State
Convention have contributed to the decline. Some prospective Baptist
students have seriously questioned whether Wake Forest College would
provide the environment for Christian education.
Interpolated in the report at that point was a statement from the
Wake Forest administration regarding its admission policies. It said:
Underlying the total program at Wake Forest College is a constant desire
to provide the best type of Christian higher education with special emphasis
placed on the procurement of North Carolina Baptist young men and
women. The Admissions Office spends over 9o percent of its traveling
schedule in the state of North Carolina counseling with North Carolina
students about their college plans.
As the number of college-bound students increases it is only natural that
the selectivity in each of our entering classes becomes greater. The faculty
Committee on Admissions makes every effort to judge equitably each ap-
plicant, not only by his academic preparation, but by his seriousness of
purpose, his home background, his desire for learning, and his character and
general fitness for life at Wake Forest College. In addition, the Admissions
Committee is aware of the obligation to our North Carolina Baptist young
people and does give preference to those applying. On April i, 1963, for
example, when most admissions decisions had been made for the fall of
1963, the college had accepted 57 percent of the North Carolina Baptist
applicants and had accepted only 33 percent of those applicants from outside
the state.
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