The News about the University of Rochester


Part 1 of 4


Pres. Valentine"Through this special issue of the ALUMNI-ALUMNAE REVIEW, we have tried to present a glimpse of the University in war-time. It is not a complete picture, for much cannot be told and the rest only summarized. Nor can we give here, with gratitude and pride, the daily and increasing list of University men in active military service.

"We are proud of the University's war record, even so inadequately recorded. It is a striking demonstration of the extent to which a private institution can devote its resources of men and equipment to the service of the nation. No stronger argument need be offered for the continued moral and material support of private institutions like the University of Rochester.

"Even in war-time the University also cultivates the arts of peace, and through education and research aids men to move toward a society ruled not by force but by reason. Amid all their war activities, our officers and faculties are constantly planning a post-war University which can serve to the utmost the educational needs of men and women - whether from schools, or from the armed forces, or from industrial and business life.

"Since this report on their University will be sent to all its men and women in the Service, I eagerly take this opportunity to send them a special word of greeting. We want them to know we are doing our part to support their effort; that they can take pride in their University; that they can return to it with increased confidence in its augmented desire and ability to meet their special and continuing educational interests. To Rochester men and women at war we send greetings, good wishes, and assurances of a cordial welcome upon their return."


This publication is a special issue of THE ROCHESTER ALUMNI-ALUMNAE REVIEW, combining the normal Commencement and summer issues of the graduates' magazine, and prepared in collaboration with the Office of Public Information of The University of Rochester. It includes, therefore, Volume XXII, Numbers 4 and 5, of THE ALUMNI REVIEW, and Volume XVIII, Numbers 4 and 5, of THE ALUMNAE NEWS.

University, Busy with Military Tasks, Looks ahead to Chart Peacetime Course

The University's 94th Commencement, on May 14, followed the pattern of centuries. There was the traditional academic procession. Seniors in cap and gown, faculty members wearing hoods bright with the colors of the world's great universities, paced into the Eastman Theater, to hear the Commencement address and to watch the presentation of honorary degrees.

But the 1944 Commencement differed in many respects from the ceremonies of former years. Women graduates predominated; the number of men in the procession was conspicuously small. And, the day after, professors and students were back in their classrooms. Commencement had not been the end of a college year, the beginning of the summer vacation. It was a busy Sunday afternoon, at a University geared to war and committed to a year-round plan of wartime instruction.

The small number of men graduates in May is explained by the fact that at the River Campus classes continue for twelve months of the year, under the Navy V-12 program; most of the University's diminishing group of civilian students follow the all-year accelerated schedule. The greater number of the men who normally would have received their degrees at Commencement time had finished their college courses at various times during the year, and had gone quietly out into military service, or into essential war jobs. Members of the V-12 unit have regular "graduations" every four months, being transferred, as they complete their assigned courses, to midshipman schools or to Marine training centers for further instruction.

The School of Medicine and Dentistry had held its own Commencement last December, under an accelerated course of study which crams the normal four-year medical course into three years by eliminating the long vacations. The next Medical School graduation will be in September.


In one respect the 1944 Commencement was a normal one. The University chose that time to announce changes, to outline plans for the future.

One of the most significant educational developments was the re-organization of the Division of University Extension, which becomes, after some twenty-seven years of vital and useful service, "University School of Liberal and Applied Studies." It is now a major unit of the University; Earl B. Taylor, '12, director of the Extension Division since 1928, is its dean.

An important aspect of this plan, authorized by the Board of Trustees in May, is that it will enable the University to provide greater educational opportunities for returning service men. Many of these men will want to resume studies interrupted by the war, but not all of them will desire resident instruction, on a full-time basis. In the University School, they may arrange special course programs that they could not obtain in the other divisions of the University.

Earlier, the faculty had approved the granting of college credit for various specialized educational experiences obtained in military training, on the basis of work completed and as rated through testing programs to be established--another step looking toward postwar educational service for demobilized members of the armed forces.


Another big piece of news that broke in May was the naming of the new football coach-Elmer H. Burnham, whose 1943 team at Purdue University won all of its nine games in the "Big Ten" Conference.

Burnham succeeds Dud DeGroot, who resigned in March to become head coach of the Washington Redskins, last year's Eastern Division pro champs.

We can assure you that you're going to like Burnham. You'll find his picture and more about him on another page.

The alumni broke with precedent this year, in deference to wartime travel conditions and wartime crowding at the River Campus; they held no Commencement Dinner.

More fortunate were the alumnae, who were able to hold their supper at Cutler Union on the evening of Commencement. Highlight of that event was their courageous and forward-looking action in sponsoring a drive, to begin in the fall, to raise $140,000 for a new swimming pool at the College for Women. They won't try to get all that money from alumnae, but will invite other friends of the University to join in this project. The pool will be the nucleus for a new physical education and recreation building back of Catharine Strong Hall.

Commencement speakers this year probed the effects of the war on higher education. Will the accelerated program, with year-round study enabling the student to complete a college course in considerably less than the traditional four years, be continued? Will the liberal arts become a minor part of education, giving way to an irresistible demand for vocational and technical training? Will there be universal military training for 18-year-olds, and how will it affect the universities?

There are no absolute answers, yet, to these questions. But the way your University has met the crises and challenges of the war years is a promise that it will be ready to meet postwar conditions just as successfully.


To show you how the University of Rochester has played its war role-let's look at the record!

Most dramatic war activity has been the Navy College Training Program, better known as the V-12, which brought 800 Navy and Marine trainees to the River Campus on July 1, 1943. But, of course, Rochester's war services go back further than that, back long before Pearl Harbor. The University, you remember, began CAA flight training in July, 1940, carrying it through without interruption through September, 1942. On a special full-time Civilian Pilot Training contract in the summer of 1942, forty Navy and twenty-eight Army cadets completed an eight-week course on the River Campus.

Courses in Engineering, Science, and Management War Training began in January, 1941, and are still being given; nearly 5,000 war workers have been prepared for more effective work in war industries and in civilian defense through these University courses.

Also before Pearl Harbor, the University was assisting in the nation's war preparations through government research projects. Since January, 1941, war research work performed at cost under contracts with the Office of Scientific Research and Development have aggregated $1,300,000 in thirteen University departments with 160 faculty and staff members now engaged in these projects.

An additional and special war project is the new million-volt x-ray research laboratory at the University, built and operated in conjunction with Rochester war industries. Twenty-four companies have used the laboratory in its first year of operation, for the inspection, by radiograph, of heavy castings, airplane assemblies, gears, tank parts, welds, and the like. Even greater use of the laboratory is expected in the second year, and the ultimate test of its long-term value to the community will come after the war ends.

The transformation of the research laboratories to serve the country's military needs is one of the most dramatic stories of the war. The details of that story, of course, cannot be published until peace comes; but in the not-too-distant future we hope to tell you how University laboratories became beachheads, the fabled Ivory Towers became military outposts.


When the record of medicine's contribution to the winning of the war is written, the School of Medicine and Dentistry will occupy a proud place on the list of achievements.

At the time of Pearl Harbor, it had 228 students-214 men, fourteen women. At present there are 258 men, twelve women. By increasing enrollment in the entering classes from fifty to sixty-five, it has made its contribution towards meeting the serious shortages of physicians in military and civilian fields.

From early in 1942 until July 1, 1943, all our medical students able to qualify physically were commissioned on an inactive basis as second lieutenants in the Medical Administrative Corps of the Army, or as ensigns in the Hospital Corps of the Navy. On July 1, 1943, the present system went into effect, Army medical students being privates first class on active duty in the ASTP, the Navy students being apprentice seamen on active duty.

Since Pearl Harbor, 350 of the Medical School's total number of male students, 406, have qualified for the Army or the Navy, with the distribution roughly equal.

Seventy-eight of the 299 medical faculty members, including the hospital administrative staff, have been granted leaves of absence for active service in the Army, Navy or Public Health Service, exclusive of staff members below the rank of instructor.

While the faculty realizes that its first duty is to train medical students and young physicians, it is carrying forward war-related research wherever possible.

Various aspects of shock, infections, virus diseases, aviation medicine, industrial hazards, wound healing, and basic body nutrition are under investigation. Every department of the school is participating in one way or another.

Enrollment in the School of Nursing has risen from 147 in 1941 to 281 in June, 1944. The number includes eighty-six members of the Cadet Nurse Corps.


The Eastman School of Music reports a highly successful year. In spite of wartime conditions, enrollment has remained at the maximum limit of 400 undergraduate and 100 graduate students set by the Board of Managers. The enrollment has, of course, shifted from the normal peace-time proportion of 50 percent of men and women to approximately 80 percent women students.

All of the Eastman School's famous ensembles, such as the Eastman School Senior Symphony, the Little Symphony, the Junior Symphony, the Symphonic Band, and the Eastman School Choir, continue to function without interruption and are maintaining their usual high standards.

Another high tribute came to the Eastman School's director, Dr. Howard Hanson, recently, when he was awarded the Pulitzer prize in music for his Symphony No. 4, Opus 34, which was performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Hanson conducting, on December 3, 1943.

With the heavy load of research, there has been no slackening of the University's teaching load; indeed, the reverse has been true, for, since the coming of the V-12 contingent, the student population has risen to record heights.


At the River Campus, the large majority of the students wear the uniforms of apprentice seamen or marine privates, chosen through careful tests as good officer-candidate material.

The first V-12 group, arriving in July, 1943, was made up mostly of transfers from fifty-two other colleges in all parts of the country; now the replacements, arriving as the old-timers depart at four-month graduation intervals for officer candidate training, come in most cases directly from high schools. The unit has been kept at an approximate strength of 800.

Many men from the Fleet, who have had actual battle experience in submarines, aboard flattops, and other fighting craft, have been included in recent replacements.

As a result of careful advance preparations by the University's faculty and administration, the V-12 program got under way with a minimum of confusion and soon was working smoothly, in contrast to some other colleges that found themselves swamped when the sailors and marines arrived. We were fortunate in drawing as commanding officer Lieutenant Commander William M. Neill, a 1923 graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy. He is able, likeable, popular with his men and with the whole University staff.

Because the trainees are confined so closely to the campus, the University has arranged a number of entertainment programs for them. Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians broadcast a nationwide "Victory Tunes" salute to the unit. A "Spotlight Band" program was broadcast from the Palestra over a coast-to-coast network last December. In February, Jose Iturbi, famed Spanish pianist, and at the time conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, gave a concert in Strong Auditorium, and played so enthusiastically that a black key flew right off the concert grand-the first time such a thing had happened to Iturbi, he said, in thirty years of concert-giving.

Later the Rochester Civic Orchestra, conducted by Guy Fraser Harrison, gave a delightful concert in Strong Auditorium.

Relations between the civilian men students, the co-ords at Prince Street, and the V.12 trainees have been happily congenial. Civilian students share classrooms and laboratories with the trainees. They play together on Varsity teams, work on THE CAMPUS staff, and share various other extra-curricular activities.

At the beginning of the V-12 program, not unexpectedly, there was little unit spirit or loyalty to the University. But as traditions grew up, that spirit came, and in a few months a CAMPUS editorial, written by one of the Navy students, summed it up this way:

"It took us a while to get it, but now we have definite traces of it; we are beginning to feel it, hear it, and see it. Spirit, we mean, college spirit-unit spirit. It might have started when George Sutch dug a hole in the Yale Bowlor perhaps when Andy Kerr bowed to his former underling, Dud DeGroot, when we invaded Colgate. It began to take form when the Prince Street Princesses got together with us for dances and parties. When November came, we took on some mates from sub duty, Atlantic convoy, the islands in the Pacific; they had campaign ribbons. We were proud of them. A name band came and played for us, and we went home for Christmas. The feeling was growing. We were beginning to get used to the setup, to the campus. We were a good crew."


The coming of the V-12 brought some splendid sports material, and you all know the dazzling records of the past year in football, basketball and track. In football we defeated six opponents, including Yale and Colgate on their home grounds, and dropped a home contest to Colgate. In basketball the Varsity won eleven of its fourteen games, including such thrillers as the 44 to 42 victory over NYU in Madison Square Garden, decided by a goal in the last two seconds of play to the hoarse delight of 15,000 yelling fans; and a 46 to 45 decision over Colgate.

In track, Rochester runners invaded the major intercollegiate field for the first time, performing with highly satisfactory results in the Boston Garden, Madison Square Garden, the Penn Relays, and the IC-4A meets in Philadelphia. The outdoor track team won all of its dual meets.

The Varsity swimming team was not as successful as in past years, but it had a bright star in 18-year-old Ben Reynolds, specialist in the 220- and 440-yard free style events, who broke records in every meet and set twenty-three new marks, eleven of them Rochester records.

After a two-year lapse occasioned by the shortened academic calendar, spring intercollegiate track and baseball schedules were resumed this year. The track team continued the successful pace it had set in the indoor meets. The baseball team started out brilliantly by winning five straight games, but hit a slump and lost several in a row. It finished the season with a double win over Oberlin. The final tally was seven victories and four losses.

There were 630 civilian men students at Rochester in the fall of 1942. By March, 1943, the number had declined to about 480, and in July, 1943, when the V-12 came, there were 220. Tightening of deferments under Selective Service now has reduced the number of civilian students at the River Campus to about a hundred.


The College for Women prepared to welcome in September the largest entering class in its history. It anticipated a total enrollment of 525 to 550, as compared with an average of 470 in recent years. Dormitories are crowded, and work of altering Carnegie Hall, one-time engineering laboratory and later the center of geology and sociology instruction at Prince Street, was begun in the spring to convert it mainly into a dormitory, with sleeping quarters for sixty girls.

It was inevitable that someone should initiate the campus slogan, "The best girls of all live in Carnegie Hall."

While some of the women students have been following the accelerated program, the women generally have adhered to the old four-year plan. They found it better to devote themselves to their college work during the academic year, and to make their war contribution by working summers in war, plants, on farms, or in volunteer services. Throughout the year, they give as much time as possible to Red Cross activities, War Bond sales, the USO, and other war work. They have maintained their interest in the liberal arts; and the tradition of the humanities, along with the faculty in the humanities, has been kept largely intact at Rochester because of the Women's College.


Despite the heavy burden of wartime schedules on faculty and administration, the University has managed to carry on many public educational services for the community benefit. It was designated as an official War Information Center for the Rochester area, and has undertaken a number of valuable projects in that capacity.

A Conference on Latin America was held for three days in January, 1943, in co-operation with the Department of State and the Office of Inter-American Affairs. It brought many diplomats and experts on Latin America to Rochester.

In November, 1943, a conference on United Nations in the Pacific was held to promote a wider understanding of both wartime and post-war problems in the Pacific Area.

To bring to the people of the Rochester area excellent documentary films produced by agencies of various governments as a means of inducing a better understanding of what the war means, the University established an Educational Film Service, with a large library of 16-mm. sound films on the nations of the world. These have been lent to civic, church, school, fraternal and other groups, and have been seen by audiences totaling more than 200,000 persons.

As another public educational service, the University presented a radio broadcast series on "Time for Science" for thirteen weeks over Station WHAM this year. Produced in co-operation with TIME, news magazine, the programs were directed by Dr. Gerald Wendt, consulting science editor for TIME, LIFE and FORTUNE magazines. Guest experts appeared on each program to analyze new developments and prospects in many fields of science-aviation, television, electronics, housing, public health education, and others.

The war has scattered the University's alumni and alumnae all around the world. Nearly 2,200 of its graduates, faculty, and staff, including seventy-five alumnae, are in the armed forces, and the University's service flag contains nineteen gold stars in memory of those who have given their lives in the war.

Distance, however, has not diminished the interest of these men and women in the University. Indeed, the effect appears to have been just the opposite. In letters to friends still on the campuses, graduates express keen interest and concern over possible adverse changes that war may bring to the University. Their gifts to the Alumni and Alumnae Funds-which have had a steady increase since the Funds were established in the first year of war-indicate that they want to do what they can to preserve the Rochester they remember, and to help it play an even greater role in the years ahead.

Lt. Com. NeillSeen and Heard
Henry W. Clune

ALTHOUGH it would not be politic for Lt. Com. William M. Neill, in charge of the V-12 program at the University of Rochester, or the university authorities themselves, to say so, the Navy people feel the university's program is one of the best, if not actually THE best, in the country. The high academic standards of the U. of R. and the university's Ideal location, where the Navy and Marine students may at all times be held in close unity, contribute to this excellence; the other factor, and a highly important one, is Commander Neill himself.

I met Commander Neill for the first time the other day, and lunched with him in the Navy mess. He is an Annapolis graduate who left the Navy many years ago for private business. He returned to his old service for the present emergency as, he says, most old Navy men who could make the grade physically have done. His experience in civilian life may have tempered his attitude toward the rigid decorum and unrelenting formalities of the professorial service and quickened his sympathy for the civilian point of View. This would seem to be an advantage for a man whose task it is now to adjust young men, most of whom have come to his command fresh from civilian life, into the Navy routine, with all of its unfamiliar discipline and exactness of conduct.

From even a superficial acquaintance with Commander Neill it is not difficult to conclude that he is a man whose sympath1es for youth are keen and whose understanding of them is broad and deep. He has, what is always a saving grace in a man designated to command, a sense of humor; he is affable, kindly, courteous. I was impressed by the manner in which he responded to the salute of the cadets we encountered in a brief walk over part of the campus, He added to the routine snap of the hand to the visor of his cap a pleasant "Good afternoon" to each group of boys we passed. It was revealing to me, a private in the first war. No officer, Unless I knew him personally, ever extended me the pleasant courtesy of verbal salutation in response to what, in the old war, we called the "highball." Commander Neill seemed to me very much of a human being, for all the gold braid on his cap.


Transformation of the College for Men to a full war footing began on July 1, 1943, when the first 800 Navy V-12 students arrived. Commanding officer of the unit from the start has been Lieutenant Commander William M. Neill, a United States Naval Academy graduate in the class of '23. Under his guidance, the Navy College Training program at Rochester has won an outstanding reputation for its efficiency, spirit and scholastic standing. His staff of about 30 officers and men includes a medical officer, physical education director, clerical workers, personnel officers and other aides.

mess call
LINED UP FOR MESS CALL in front of Todd Union on their first day at the River Campus, the new trainees presented this appearance in the civilian clothes they were soon to shed. The Navy students, carefully chosen through tests, came to Rochester from all parts of the nation and from 52 colleges. All Todd Union dining facilities are reserved for the Navy.

first chore
ONE OF THE FIRST CHORES for the newcomers was to learn to make up their own bunks. This youth is giving the old college try as he awkwardly tries to pummel his bunk into some semblance of order, with a conspicuous lack of success.

EACH MAN WAS GIVEN a thorough medical checkup on his arrival at the campus. The unit's first medical officer was Lieutenant Commander J. Fletcher McAmmond, (right), a graduate of the School of Medicine, now serving in the Pacific area.

LONG QUEUES FORMED at various points about the campus. These men are getting their G. I. bedding and clothing.

ANOTHER LONG LINE of young manpower filed past tables in the Palestra the first few days to register for classes. Thorough advance preparations made the complicated procedure work with a minimum of confusion as the V-12 program got under way.

SOON THE CAMPUS ECHOED with the sound of barked orders and shuffling feet, and under the relentless prodding of tough Marine drill officers, the V-12 students in a surprisingly short time learned to march snappily. Now clad in their Marine or seaman's uniforms, they presented this military appearance as they staged their first review on the campus back of the dormitories on River Boulevard. In the first group of trainees, Marines and sailors were about evenly divided.

rabbit run

divingPHYSICAL CONDITIONING it an important part of the V-12 training. Over an obstacle course back of the athletic fields the men crawl through the "rabbit run" shown above, run uphill and down, swing on an overhead ladder, jump hurdles, climb a 10-foot wall, clamber up a climbing rail, all at a fast pace. "Abandon ship" drills are given in the gymnasium pool. A special platform 20 feet high has been built as a "ship's deck" from which the men learn how to jump properly. A cargo net hangs down the side on which they practice scrambling up and down the swaying rope network. They also are taught life-saving and the restful strokes which help them save their strength in the water. The techniques are based on the experience of men who have had to save themselves and their comrades under actual wartime conditions at sea. Other phases of the physical education program include an extensive inter-company schedule of competitive sports-football, soccer, baseball, basketball, track, tennis. The rivalry is of the liveliest sort, and awards are made to the companies winning their various events. Boxing and wrestling and "judo" tactics that may stand the men in good stead in war combat also are stressed. Each trainee must pass the basic Navy swimming test. Ability to swim is essential, for it may mean the difference between life and death in case his ship is torpedoed. Each man in the unit must spend at least an hour a day on intensive physical workouts, and Navy strength tests are given every four months to determine the endurance, stamina, strength and agility of the future officers. As such they must be physically topnotch to earn the respect of those who will serve under them and to be tough when the going is bard and the chips down.

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