The College Administration 183
Gaines, Dr. Kitchin, and Dr. Tribble. He also acted as admissions
officer until a separate staff took over that function in 1957.
Patterson was born July 24, 1901, in Chatham County and grew up
in Siler City. He attended Trinity College (now Duke University)
before transferring to Wake Forest where he received the bachelor's
degree in 1924. As a student he worked in the Examiner's Office,
forerunner of the Registrar's Office, headed by Dr. George W.
Paschal. After graduation he was employed to work mornings for Dr.
Poteat and afternoons for the examiner. In 1926, as noted, he was
made registrar. He married Elizabeth Lake, daughter of Prof. J. L.
Lake, who taught physics at Wake Forest for thirty-three years
Patterson was administrator of the Denmark Loan Fund, and for
forty years while he carried out the duties of registrar, he also sold
insurance as a sideline. He was treasurer of the Wake Forest Baptist
Church on both the old campus and the new. Twice, in 1935 and
again in 1950, he was president of the North Carolina Association of
Collegiate Registrars. In action and in speech he was a very proper
man, and it was said that he never once received a visitor to his office
without wearing a coat, not even on the hottest day of summer.
The duties of the Registrar's Office were manifold, and they grew
as the college became larger. The responsibilities of the office in-
cluded registration of students; the collection, collation, and distri-
bution of information on demographics, enrollment, and the academic
progress and achievement of every student; the creation and
maintenance of accurate academic records and the issuance of grade
reports and transcripts; certification of candidates for degrees to the
faculty and Board of Trustees; publication of the class schedules each
term and preparation of the program and diplomas for May
commencement. All of this involved precise coordination with faculty
members, faculty committees, and individual
Implicit in all of these procedures was the safeguarding of records,
a duty which became extremely sensitive in the nervous days of the
sixties when belligerent campus activists across the country expressed
their hostility by ransacking and destroying institutional files. By
custom the permanent academic records at Wake Forest were stored
in a fireproof vault at the close of each working day―a
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