When Moreland met the representatives from Randolph-Macon, he had offers of the presidency of Scarritt College and the provostship at his alma mater, Southern Methodist University. The interview must have gone well, for a week after the end of the conference, Hatcher wrote to both Moreland and Mullen about setting up a meeting between Moreland and the full search committee in Ashland. (Moreland was on his way to New York.) Moreland was met in Richmond on May 28 by Mullen and was driven out to the college to meet the full committee. Everything went well. They all agreed that the college needed another $1,000,000. When Mullen asked Moreland why, in view of the obvious problems of the college, he wished to come, Moreland pointed to the faculty representatives, T. McNider Simpson, Early Lee Fox, and Joe Haley, and said, I'd just like to be where these men are. On June 1, 1939, the full search committee had approved the selection, leaving only the concurrence of the full board. Hatcher scrambled trying to get an honorary degree for the new president in time for the commencement in June. He thought Moreland was giving the commencement address at Emory and Henry College and the occasion would be fitting. Dr. H. N. Hillman, its president, wrote that Moreland was not coming to his school; possibly Emory University was meant, and so Hatcher's wishes could not be accommodated. He added I believe your man will prove highly satisfactory. Officially, the professors were advisors to the trustees. In practice, their concurrence seems to have been essential.
Some members of the board balked at what they viewed as a fiat by the committee. E. Barrett Prettyman wrote Hatcher that the selection of a new President is a matter of serious concern to all members of the Board and I do not believe that we should be called upon and act upon it in summary fashion upon a report submitted for a consideration for the first time during the course of a meeting at which action will be asked. The notice was dated June 2 for a meeting of the board on June 12. Hatcher left T. McNider Simpson to deal with Prettyman's wrath.
Simpson explained that when the full committee of eleven met and unanimously approved Mullen's report recommending Moreland, they believed that the full board should vote at its meeting on Monday, June 12, so that the announcement could be made on Tuesday, the day of commencement. This, he added, was the procedure followed at the election of T. H. Jack as president of the Woman's College. The reason for it was a desire to prevent leaks to the press and premature publicity. In order to calm Prettyman's fears, Simpson wrote at length describing the qualities of the leading candidate. They reveal the criteria of the collective mind of the search committee.
Mr. Moreland is in the neighborhood of forty-five years old. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas; he has had fourteen years teaching experience in Brazil, and for ten years of that time, he was the Vice-President or President of Porto Allegre College, a college supported by the Methodist Church, but supervised by the Federal Education Authority of Brazil. For the last three years he has been Vice-President of Scarritt College, devoting himself particularly to financial promotion. He has had a wide platform experience, and has visited practically all of our church colleges throughout the South. When he was here for an interview with us the Faculty Committee was especially impressed by his personality, his ease of manner, his grasp of the problems confronting a president, and his clear understanding that a successful administration involves planning five to ten years ahead. He is favorably known to the church, is in demand as a speaker, has already good contacts with some of the Educational Boards [of the church]. Last, but not unimportant, he has a wife especially well adapted to the place of President's lady. Her father and brothers are alumni of the college, and she herself is a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman's College. Herbert Lipscomb [professor of classics at Randolph- Macon Woman's College] speaks of her in the highest terms as a great addition to our community.
Simpson added, quoting Bishop Paul Kern, that Moreland would not leave Scarritt and SMU had offered him a salary considerably larger than we can pay to come there as Vice-President, but he prefers the opportunity here. The ratification by the board of the committee's decision came routinely. Moreland was to receive a salary of $4,500, plus a housing allowance annually. Professors hired that year were paid salaries of $2,000 to $2,400.
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