A New Hand at the
The selection of a successor to Dr. Kitchin as president of Wake
Forest presented one of the greatest challenges any Board of Trustees
of the college had ever faced, because the entire future of the
institution was riding on the choice. If Wake Forest were to move to
Winston-Salem, as it was committed to do, vast sums of money had to
be raised. To tap sources of funding outside the Baptist church and
outside the alumni organizations a leader of great vitality,
imagination, persuasiveness, and perseverance was required. Along
with those virtues he would have to be an able academic administrator
and a Christian of deep commitment and devotion.
On the day that President Kitchin announced his retirement, April
29, 1949, the trustees appointed an eight-member committee to
conduct the search for this unique man who would hold the key to
Wake Forest's future. Dr. Casper C. Warren of Charlotte was named
chairman, and the other trustee members were prominent North
Carolinians who understood the gravity of their task: Odus M. Mull,
Nane Starnes, Charles B. Deane, Hubert E. Olive, L. R. Varser, C. V.
Tyner, and Irving E. Carlyle. An advisory committee of alumni also
was appointed and included Judge Johnson J. Hayes, Gerald W.
Johnson, T. Lamar Caudle, James F. Hoge, Robert Lee Humber, Kyle
M. Yates, and W. H. Weatherspoon. Other alumni and a panel of
Baptist ministers also were to be consulted.