Just five days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a day whose infamy rocked the nation as the United States was plunged into World War II, the Dec. 12, 1941 issue of The Scarlet featured a front-page editorial titled “We Are Aware.”
The editors wrote: “We know that war involves cooperative work whether in uniform, overalls, or in campus clothes. We shall keep working until the job is finished, and we shall face the terrible perplexities of reconstruction.”
“We are not fighting a war primarily of rival sovereignties over economic issues, but we are fighting for the whole world’s right to individual freedom.”
The newpaper’s editorial the following week, Dec. 19, 1941, proclaimed, “We’re all soldiers now.”
Less than a year later, in November 1942, a large group of Clark men, shown above, gathered in Atwood Hall to be inducted into the Army.
In “Clark University, 1887–1987: A Narrative History,” former Clark Archivist William Koelsch wrote:
During the war substantial numbers of men who were not enrolled in degree programs were also housed, fed, and educated at the university. There were 300 Army officers and troops in residence from August, 1943, to April 1944, to participate in either a basic science and pre-engineering program or in a language and area studies course under Samuel Van Valkenburg’s direction which focused on central and southern Europe. A number of Clark faculty taught in these programs, as well as carrying on their normal responsibilities. A smaller War Service Training Program in cartography and geographical research had been conducted during the previous year in the School of Geography under the direction of Wallace W. Atwood Jr., who had been appointed to the geography faculty by his father in 1932. The 300 Army men of 1943-44 far outnumbered the 189 undergraduates on campus that year, and the regular college terms were adjusted to the twelve-week periods required by the military programs. Nearly half the regular Clark faculty were actively engaged in war service of one sort or another, and on May 15, 1945, one of the new cargo ships built to support the war effort, the SS Clark Victory, was launched.