1944 Campus Shaped by WWII

Soldiers and students sit on the steps of Parrish Hall.

In the War's early years, the College cooperated with civil defense, Red Cross and first-aid training, and other nonmilitary support services. It also moved to a year-round class schedule, which lasted for three years, to accelerate graduation for those who might be drafted. The College experienced further strain by the departure of a quarter of the faculty for war work.  

Beginning in July 1943, and for the next three years, the U.S. Navy's V-5 and V-12 programs brought more than 900 men to Swarthmore College. Most were on campus for a short time in programs that trained engineers, line officers, aviation candidates, and pre-medical and pre-theological students. In fall 1944, only 75 civilian men were on campus, joined by 250 Navy men and about 360 women.