Campus Life


Ramblins - Tech provided valuable services during WWII

By Pat Edwards
Ramblin' Reck Club

Georgia Tech has a proud tradition of service and sacrifice at times of crisis throughout our history. Some of the most eventful of these periods of heightened service occurred during World War II.
As America entered the war following Pearl Harbor, the federal government assigned several directives to colleges and universities describing the style and nature of education to assist the US war effort.
These included acceleration of the academic calendar with the inclusion of a year-round course load, heavy emphasis on mathematics, sciences, and civics, and mandatory physical fitness for all students.
Tech was able to act as the forerunner for the State in establishing the model for wartime education. Still, the campus was ravaged by the changes.
The majority of Tech's regular student body enlisted, and the faculty, for the most part, either enlisted or were granted leave in order to lend their expertise to vital war industries.
Tech was, therefore, populated mostly with members of the ROTC and the Army Specialized Training Program.
With all of the various programs and calendars in effect, it became increasingly difficult to keep up with Tech's academic schedule.
Indeed, as one professor at the time remembered, "It seemed that we were giving final exams every week."
As then Professor of Economics John Griffin indicated, Tech had made substantial "contributions to the war effort in terms of manpower for armed service, industry, research and testing, community service and leadership, and for postwar planning."
This is the reputation that Tech has left for us from the hardships and challenges of World War II; one of strong service and rising to the challenges and needs of our country.

Copyright © 1998 by Gregory S. Scherrer, Editor and by the Student Publications Board

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