In honor of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, UNCG presents “Women and War: Woman’s College During World War II” through Nov. 18 on the first floor of Jackson Library.
Using a combination of some 50 photographs, manuscript materials and textiles, the exhibit examines the effects of the war on the campus and the contributions that faculty and students of The Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina made to the war. In 1963, Woman’s College became coeducational and was renamed UNCG.
Colleges and universities, including those for women, saw dramatic changes both during and after the war. After Pearl Harbor, the National Committee on Education and Defense successfully sought to use academic communities and their campuses to aid the war effort.
Branches of the armed services began to offer military training on more than 300 campuses, enrolling approximately 400,000 men and women by 1944. Universities adapted their curricula to the war effort, adopting courses in fields such as map making, explosives and engineering, and creating accelerated undergraduate programs.
Women’s colleges offered classes on auto repair, map reading, airplane spotting and Morse code. They also supported the war effort in more traditional ways, including Red Cross training, victory gardens and service leagues.
The Women Veterans Historical Project at Jackson Library documents the female experience in the Armed Forces through letters, papers, photographs, published materials, uniforms, artifacts and oral histories. It contains more than 300 individual collections and more than 200 oral history interviews. Housed and maintained in University Archives, the materials form a research collection for scholars of military history and women’s studies.
For more information, contact University Archives at (336) 334-4045.