College during World War I

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I’m seriously in love with this picture! I’m doing a tribute week on Facebook (you can check it out here: in honor of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I and stumbled across this baby.

I guess I never really thought about life in college around that time. I kind of just focused on, well you know, the most important points; like the horrible trench warfare, the use of poisonous gases, the major battles and that kind of thing. I didn’t really take into account things that weren’t going on on the battlefront.

Since the men were off fighting in the war (officially in 1917 almost a whole three years after the war began), things were left unattended at home. The ladies on campus stepped up and created the Campus Squad. These ladies took care of tasks that the men off fighting would normally handle. In this case, it was mowing and tending to the lawn.

I love everything about this picture. It just shows me how resilient people really are when they need to be. Instead of hanging out and complaining how high grass was, these ladies stepped up. They didn’t say, I don’t know how to use a rake, or a push mower, or operate this horse drawn thing that I don’t exactly know what it is. Nope, these ladies actually cared about their college and the world around them, and jumped in to help in their lovely white dresses and boots.

It got me thinking, if something happened, would the students today step up like these ladies did? Honestly, I think they would. Let me rephrase that, I think the students living on campus that felt connected to the university would step up. Let’s face it, if it doesn’t directly impact you, most people would just look and say “what a shame” and move on. If you were living with the grass growing feet tall, then you would more than likely say enough is enough, I’m tired of walking in snake infested grass and decide to get some volunteers together to take care of the issue.

Most of these ladies had probably grown up in rural areas and knew how to do this kind of thing too (not that that takes anything away from what they did). I’m super proud that these ladies represented our school so well.


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