History 200: Gateway Seminar

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World War II brought about many changes for the United States. Colleges and Universities had to deal with this change just as any other individual or organization did during the war. This paper looks specifically at how the war impacted Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Using the Selective Service and Training Act of 1940, this paper shows the steps taken by Augustana's president, Conrad Bergendoff, to combat the school's declining student population. It emphasizes the school's reliance on its traditional values for spiritual guidance as well as showing the proactive steps taken by Bergendoff and the Augustana community to remain a productive institution throughout the war. For Bergendoff these steps required him to create a unique balance that allowed the school to be as successful as it could be during the war. It breaks his balance into an inner-half, which speaks to the religious and spiritual actions taken during the war, and then to an outer-half. The outer half is broken down into three parts in itself: the first being an aviation program created by the school in accordance with guidelines provided by the United States government that trained and supplied pilots to the war effort; the second facet of the outer-half coincides with the first, discussing how the aviation program allowed Bergendoff to stunt the impact of the draft and retain more students on campus; the third phase transitions into the gender aspect of the paper, showing how women filled the roles of the men that had left for war, while maintaining the school’s traditions and values.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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