In that initial session devoted to the Reynolds offer the trustees
were guided in part by a statement from Judge Hayes, who obviously
had had some forewarning of the momentous development. In it
Hayes expressed the gratitude of the board to the directors of the
foundation and cited both the advantages and the disadvantages
inherent in accepting the proposal. In part, his statement said:
The trustees wish, first of all, to express profound appreciation for this
generous expression of confidence in the work of Wake Forest College and
the denomination it has served for 112 years. Such a magnificent gift as is
involved in this proposal not only stirs emotions of deepest gratitude but
also challenges us to highest endeavor. We are humbled by the thought that
Wake Forest College has thus served North Carolina in a way to attract an
investment of such magnitude.
Wake Forest College is an institution established in 1834 by the Baptist
State Convention of North Carolina for the purpose of providing Christian
education for the youth of North Carolina. Although the number of Baptists
in the state has grown to nearly 600,000, the purpose of the college has
remained unchanged throughout its 112 years of history.
For this reason it can be readily understood that a matter of such far-
reaching importance as the foregoing must be referred to the convention
itself for disposition. We take this occasion to reaffirm our identity with the
convention, which is the final authority in determining the policies and
practices of Wake Forest College. In view of the foregoing facts we have
appointed at this meeting a committee to investigate thoroughly the legal
aspects of the proposal and to prepare an agreement embodying the ideas
and principles herein set forth in terms of a contract into which the
convention may enter with full understanding of the facts and assurances
concerning the legality of the steps involved.
Judge Hayes's statement conceded that there would be certain
disadvantages in the acceptance of the foundation's offer.
We recognize quite frankly the difficulties of sentiment involved in
transferring from one place to another loyalties so intertwined with the
traditions woven by our college through the more than one hundred years of
glorious service to our state and denomination. We recognize, further, the
tremendous difficulty and inconvenience of moving a faculty, many of
whom have built their homes at their own expense. We recognize, also, the
tendency of institutions of learning as they increase in financial strength to
drift from the purposes for which they were originally founded and to
become an end in themselves rather than a means of fulfilling that
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