within the liberal arts framework, Wake Forest had too long neglected
to place sufficient emphasis on courses designed to prepare young
men and women for careers in the mercantile world.
There had, of course, been recurrent moves toward filling that gap.
In 1920 the faculty had approved commerce as one of six groups of
study leading to the bachelor's degree (the others were letters, civics,
ministry, education, and general science). In practice, however, the
economics and business courses were largely submerged within the
Department of Social Science, and it was not until 1939 that business
administration became one of the three divisions of that department
(the others were history-government and sociology.) Even then,
economics and business administration were given no new emphasis,
because Dr. L. Owens Rea, who had joined the Social Science
Department in 1931, remained the only teacher whose total time was
devoted to those areas. Rea left the college in 1948, a year after Dr.
Henry G. Hendricks was employed as associate professor in
President Kitchin and Dr. Pearson recommended that Dr. Gaines M.
Rogers, who had been head of the Department of Economics at
Baylor University, be appointed to the business administration post
created in the spring of 1948, and the trustees gave their approval on
May 31 that year. On that same date Dr. Richard Powers was
appointed associate professor of business administration. Both Rogers
and Powers held doctorates from the University of Virginia. At a
November meeting that year the Board of Trustees formally
constituted the School of Business Administration, but candidates for
a B.B.A. degree would be required to complete the basic liberal arts
requirements expected of all Wake Forest students.
A few days after his appointment as dean, Rogers was interviewed
by Old Gold and Black and set forth his aims in a statement that
would be published in the college Bulletin for the next two decades.
The School of Business Administration was conceived by the administra-
tion and trustees of Wake Forest College to provide a liberal education and
at the same time the training essential for a career in business. With the
constant growth in the industrialization of the region and the increase in the
complexity of modern business, it is felt that professional training for men
of business becomes even more essential. The future business leader, as
indeed the present, must be an individual with the professional
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