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Summer 2018 Wofford Today
WWI Gallery

From the archives

World War I at home and abroad

American entry into the First World War in April 1917 brought tremendous changes to American society, and Wofford and the Spartanburg community felt those changes as much as any.

“World War I at Home and Abroad” is the subject of an exhibit this fall in the Sandor Teszler Library Gallery, where various items from the college’s archives and special collections will be on display. These items are coupled with a traveling exhibition that illuminates the political, social and cultural climate during this time period. The traveling exhibition was produced by the library at Sewanee: The University of the South and funded by the Associated Colleges of the South.

 The war saw more than 400 students and alumni serve in the armed forces, and 17 Wofford students or graduates, including three students in the Wofford Fitting School, died in the war. By late 1918, the Army took over the campus, organizing the student body into a Student Army Training Corps. The militarization of the student body lasted only a brief time, as the armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, brought an end to the immediate need to train additional students for service. Just over a year after the war, the first Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) detachment was established on the campus.

Student publications covered the events of the war breathlessly, and some young alumni wrote back to report on life at the front. One alumnus sent back poems that were published in The Journal. Over the course of the fall, keep an eye on the From the Archives blog for more details about the centennial of World War I at Wofford.

By Dr. Phillip Stone ’94, archivist