World War II


During World War II, Air Crew Cadets received training on Dickinson's campus. According to this Dickinsonian article, all unmarried cadets were required to register a record of their hobbies and interests with the Conferece and Appointment Bureau to be "placed on file and used as a reference if and when the cadet desires a date."  The committee responsible included Jane Bowen, Louise Faupel, Joan Thatcher, and Ruth Wallace.  Marjorie Barkman and Lt. Cloval Cook served as faculty/administrative supervisors. 

Date: November 30, 1943
Frances Lois Willoughby Naval Reserve Commission

The December 1949 Dickinson Alumnus documents a fellow alumna, Frances L. Willoughby '27, who was awarded a commission. However, Willoughby was not awarded just any kind of commission, but she received the honor of being the first woman doctor to receive a Navy Commission. She entered the Naval Reserve as a lieutenant in 1944, and appointed to permanent staff only 4 months after and in 1946 she achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After graduating from Dickinson, Willoughby went on to receive a medical degree from the University of Arkansas School of Medicine.

Date: December, 1949
Renovated for women students

Chairman S. Walter Stauffer of the Committee on Grounds and Buildings presented his report on women's housing. He confirmed that East College would be renovated for female residents for the Fall Session as soon as the male students departed in June. The building would house approximately 100 women.

Date: June 7, 1946
Where should we put them?

President Boyd Lee Spahr addressed the issue of housing for women in his report to the Board of Trustees. He proposed the use of East College as a women's dormitory in addition to Metzger Hall, explaining that these two buildings would house 171 women. He also proposed changing the Gibbs House from a women's dormitory to a residence for male students. The Board of Trustees approved this recommendation.

Date: June 7, 1946
Women's Housing in East College

Dean Ernest A. Vuilleumier reported to the Board of Trustees that the college had rented two fraternity houses (Phi Delta Theta and Beta Theta Pi) in order to provide additional housing for female students. According to Vuilleumier, the return of fraternity members to campus would require that the college develop an alternative form of housing for female students. Therefore, the dean recommended that the college convert East College into a women's dormitory.

Date: December 15, 1945
Women's Dormitory

The report of the President of the Board of Trustees detailed the special committee's presentation of June 3, 1945 recommending that the new women's dormitory be constrcuted on Mooreland campus and be "adequate to house at least 125 girls." The report explains that female students resided in Metzger Hall, the Gibbs House for seniors, the Parker House, and in two leased fraternity houses. According to the report, the college did not own Metzger Hall, and the college would need to spend a great deal of money to renovate the sixty-year old building.

Date: December 15, 1945
Social Opportunities Offered to Female Students and Cadets

Included in the "Social Situation for the Guidance of Women Students" is a list of "Social opportunities" offered to female students and Army Air Force cadets. Social opportunities include regulations on walking in couples, hiking in groups, bicycling, horseback riding, buggy and carriage riding, bowling, tennis, movies, dances and dancing, prohibition, and out-of-town social events.

Date: October, 1943
Modus Operandi

"Modus Operandi" (Method of Operation) is a section in a memo on the "Social Situation for the Guidance of Women Students" on social relationships between cadets and female students. The document states that "social relationships between women students and cadets will be managed through a Conference and Appointment Bureau." The purpose of this bureau was to "introduce cadets to women students and to carry out the regulations set by the administration."  This bureau operated only while the cadets were on campus.

Date: October, 1943
Women's Dorm

Professor Russell I. Thompson strongly urges Board of Trustees President Boyd Lee Spahr to lobby aggressively for the construction of a new women's dormitory, arguing that "Metzger Hall has long since served its purpose." He suggests the building should be sufficient to house 125 to 150 students.

Date: 1944
Dean of Women

Professor Russell I. Thompson writes in a letter to President Boyd Lee Spahr about his ideas for the future of the college. He suggests the creation of a more specific position for the dean of women, calling the position as it stood then an "anamolous" one. He believes that the dean of women should be more than just a house mother or supervisor of Metzger Hall: instead, the dean should guide all the women of the college.

Date: 1944