SCSU At 150: Campus Life During World War II
ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud State University is nearing the end of a yearlong sesquicentennial celebration. Once a month since last August Archivist Tom Steman has been a guest on the News @ Noon Show on WJON talking about different aspects of the school's history.
Tuesday the topic was life on campus during World War II. SCSU History Grad Kayla Stielow says back then not all the women here at home went off to work.
The story of young women during World War II is that they all went to work, and these women stayed in school, which is really interesting, but to say that they were not involved in the war is not true. They were really active in supporting the war effort. There was blood drives, scrap metal drives, air raid drills...
Stielow says there was a War Activities Council that was active on campus that oversaw many of the home front activities on campus.
Stielow says the campus was used to house soldiers who were training to go to battle.
At the onset of the war 150 college campuses across the country were selected to host military detachments, specifically to be trained for the Army Air Force. When they brought in these 350 cadets they needed to put them somewhere, so they decided to put them in Lawrence Hall, which meant the female students that were living there had to move.
Over $190,000 in sales of war bonds and stamps were sold on campus, which in today's dollars equals $2.7 million.
Also during those years, all homecoming gatherings were themed "Victory" complete with Victory dances and the crowning of Victory Queens.