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Drawing a flanged pocket in mechanical drawing, a new class. Courtesy of MHC Archives (64)

Radio communications and repair class was one of the most popular on campus. Photo courtesy of MHC Archives (65)

In the 1942-43 Report of the President to the Trustees, Roswell Ham again expressed his views on the purpose of a liberal arts education in preparing women for the wartime environment.

In the present state of the world it is hard for a student to believe that success in the long run (both for herself and her country) depends chiefly on her development as a whole human being, emphasizing the interest which is genuinely, spiritually sympathetic to her. Once asured that there is a justification for all our "majors" and that she will do best what she really believes in and cares about, a student is relieved of her fears.(66)

Changes in Attitudes
The women pictured above, to your left, were drawing a flanged pocket in a new mechanical drawing class. A statement of Defense Activities prepared for other women's colleges by Harriett M. Allyn, Academic Dean, listed a number of changes the college administration made to curriculum. These changes reflected the rapidly changing lives of students. First, however, she noted that a defense committee, composed of trustees, faculty and students, had been formed. Called the Committee for Educational and National Defense, the purpose of the committee was to promote the idea that part of the national defense is the defense of a liberal arts education. (67)

The college also sponsored a series of weekly forums bringing lecturers to the college to discuss national issues. A speech delivered by Wendell Wilkie echoed the argument that the liberal arts are not a "luxury but a necessity." He observed that the liberal arts are responsible for the preservation of cultural heritage and further argued that this idea was "not superfluous, but is what we are fighting for."

Pity the Poor Registrar
Little consideration was paid to the Registrar during these difficult times. In one year, 1943, students completed their coursework at four different times - January, May, August and December. The registrar had to designate each class by their year, of course and further added a letter. The seventy students who graduated in December, 1943 were 1943-D, the thirty-five who finished in August were 1943-A. The 244 remaining students of the Class of '43 finished in May, and were just plain ol' 1943. Thirty of these students, however, had finished their work by January. A baccalaureatre service was held for each accelerated class but commencement exercises were limited and the traditional ceremonies of ivyplanting and the laurel chain took place only in May. The alumnae office tried to avoid the complexitites of separate reunions and special songs for the classes of 1943 A, D, and M. This was accomplished by allowing accelerated students to choose to which class they wanted to belong.(68)

Updating Classes
Many new classes, such as the mechanical drawing class, were added during this period. Some of them were geared to practical applications, like the radio class, and others were theoretical. For a more complete list, click on the New Classes page below.


Atlas Home Page   MHC Goes to War Student Activities New Classes
  WAVES Class of '43 Radio Class