The West Chester University community has a rich history of service to our country. Men and women, students, faculty, administration and staff throughout WCU's history have served in every major war from the Spanish American War to the Iraq War. To celebrate that deep history here's highlighting some unique WCU veteran material.
Check out our digitized Yearbooks, especially those during war years. They provide excellent insight into campus life and moral during war time. The earliest Serpentines also provide commentary through class mottos and stories, literary pieces, artwork and interesting nicknames and captions for students and faculty alike.
This image from the 1943 Serpentine illustrates the view of WCU during World War II and the appropriate theme was “Victory.” The caption for this illustration states “We fully realize that we, the future teachers of America [WCU was then a state teachers college], have a real challenge to meet. To us will be entrusted the guidance of the youth of today—the leaders of the future. To us will be given the task of reconstructing the world of tomorrow and making it a better place in which to live. Our fellow classmates, our relatives, and our friends in the armed forces are stationed in the four corners of the earth. They are doing their best, just as we at West Chester have been striving to do ours, so that we may come out of this struggle victorious.
With these thoughts in mind, we selected “Victory” as the theme of our 1943 Serpentine….”
The university’s student paper also provides wonderful illustrations and commentary of campus life during war times. These papers include news on the wars throughout the WCU’s history as well as memories of lost community members and lighthearted verses.
The image is from the December 15, 1944, Quad Angles. Each issue in this era had a question for students; this issue’s question was “What do you want for Christmas.” Among the more humorous answers, such as “Nylon Stockings.” from the editor Elaine Hunn and “A diamond, but I know I won’t get it. He’s overseas,” from Marion Kirk, then freshmen are more serious requests for an end to the war and peace.
To read more about WCU’s service history check out Dr. Russell Sturzbeckers’ Centennial History of West Chester State College.
Also, check out a current WCU project, Soldiers to Scholars. This project places oral history interviews of current WCU students and veterans online, so their stories are heard.
And most importantly a genunine thank you to all the Veterans out there. Your sacrifices and service are greatly appreciated. Happy Veterans Day!