If there can be one defining moment in this institution's history, it would have to be the Second World War. Queens College was created in 1937. Just four years after its conception, the college faced the most significant event of modern history, threatening its very existence. The pioneer class of our college entered into a world plagued by a conflict of unprecedented magnitude.
students from the beginning answered the call to arms, and by the end of
the first week many had enlisted in either the armed services or
auxiliary services. It is estimated that 70 percent of the pioneer
class joined the military after war had been declared, an
impressive statistic that shows great assertiveness on the part of the community.
it was not just QC students who answered the call to arms, but faculty
as well. Records from after the war show that forty-eight QC faculty
members served in the military during WWII. Aside from holding military drills,
the administration adapted new areas of study,
and revised old ones, to promote knowledge that could be useful while
serving in the military. Classes in naval history, spherical
trigonometry, engineering, radio communications, international Morse
Code, and navigation were offered, and the college emphasized the importance
of learning European languages that would be valuable to people serving overseas.
Also offered were a series of non-credit courses designed to help the
average civilian deal with the growing demands of the war at home.
1943, an Army Special Training Program (ASTP) arrived on campus, bringing
the war closer to home. Queens College had volunteered to house and
teach an ASTP unit consisting of approximately 360 soldiers. The idea
was that QC would educate the men in languages and science.