Department operated through the war years with a skeletal staff, in
that respect not unlike most of the other departments of the college.
Along with the chairman, members of the faculty were Forrest W.
Clonts, Carlton P. West, and L. Owens Rea. Dr. Rea was responsible
for teaching economics courses and West, for several sociology
classes in addition to his history load. Dr. Henry S. Stroupe, a Wake
Forest graduate who had received his doctorate from Duke in 1942,
was on military leave.
Rea would leave in 1948 to become an accountant in Baltimore,
and West, tapped as the successor to Ethel Taylor Crittenden in
library supervision, was given leave in 1945 to get a master's degree
in library science at the University of North Carolina. Those re-
maining―Pearson, Clonts, and Stroupe upon his return―were to
become the heart of the department when business administration,
sociology, and political science spun off as separate entities.
Dr. Pearson, who had been on the faculty since 1916, was a teacher
of great gifts famed for asking questions which to students seemed
unanswerable. Because of his spare frame they had dubbed him
"Skinny," and they found him at once endearing and formidable.
Pearson retired in 1952, and at a testimonial dinner in September of
that year Dr. Stroupe said that students would remember him "not
only for his characteristic jokes and intriguing quiz questions, but as
an eminent scholar, able teacher, and fair-minded gentleman Dr.
Pearson was a great teacher. His brilliant, analytical mind never failed
to separate significant matters from nonessential details. When he
expounded on a subject in his informal, deliberative manner, his
students listened with rapt attention to his profound wisdom."
Professor Clonts, who was named acting chairman upon Pearson's
retirement, was of a completely different disposition―warm in spirit,
stylish in dress, never given to perplexities. A Wake Forest graduate,
Class of 1920, he held a master's degree from Ohio State University
and had studied several years at Yale. His association with the Wake
Forest faculty began in 1922, and he remained through the Tribble
era. A former student later wrote of him, "He could breathe life and
spirit into the dry bones of history; he taught with an enthusiasm that
was contagious; he communicated his own excitement and pride and
curiosity; he made the process of learning an exuberant pilgrimage
into the
Dr. Stroupe had been a teaching fellow in social science during
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