loss to the administration, faculty and student body [that we] learn of
Dr. Kitchin's resignation…. At the head of his long list of ac-
complishments would stand Dr. Kitchin's goal of bringing the college
academic standards up to a point such that the college is recognized
the country over for [its quality]."
The editor of The Student magazine was no less appreciative,
writing in the October 1949 issue:
Those of us who have been fortunate enough to come into personal con-
tact with [Dr. Kitchin] appreciate his advice and guidance, not because he
carried the authority of the president of Wake Forest, but because at all
times he was sympathetic and earnest in what he said. Under his guidance
Wake Forest made great strides forward, and after he leaves it will make
even greater strides, due, in a great part, to his desire to see Wake Forest a
better school than it already is…. The likes of Dr. Kitchin are seldom seen
in the president's chairs of colleges and universities.
The Biblical Recorder noted: "President Kitchin has been recog-
nized by everybody as an unusually wise and able administrator, and
his plans for retirement are in keeping with his usual good judgment
and fine spirit."
In June of 1950 Dr. Wingate M. Johnson, an admiring colleague,
said at commencement exercises, "Thurman Kitchin was well-
endowed by nature for the presidency. His great natural intellect,
enriched by a lifelong habit of study, marked him as a scholar. Still
more important was the ample store of common sense that enabled
him to distinguish between essentials and nonessentials."
After his retirement, Dr. Kitchin continued to teach until 1954. He
died at his home in Wake Forest on August 23, 1955, the heart that he
had taxed in the service of the college finally failing. He was sixty-
nine years old, and the tributes which had accompanied his retirement
were magnified at the end.
When Dr. Kitchin stepped down from the presidency, the era of old
Wake Forest was coming to an end. Another, of quite different
character, was about to begin. It would never eclipse the years that
had gone before, but it would give the nation a transformed college
which, honoring the past, would look to a future of boundless op-
portunity and service.
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