Pres. Hamilton Holt (center) at the Rollins College Roll of Honor, erected in 1943, listing the names of all Rollins men and women serving in the Armed Forces (please click on the images to enlarge them).
In October 1945, The Sandspur announced a writing contest: “Ever since veterans first began to come back to Rollins last year we have wondered time and time again, just how college life seemed after months or years of day-to-day living, living under combat conditions, where the most vital concern of each individual was to obey orders and somehow stay alive. Those of us who have not experienced this, no matter how much we read or hear on the subject, will never be able to fully grasp what this means, what it does to a man’s thinking, how it affects his views and his philosophy of life. Neither can we see college life and class room discussions from the same perspective. For this reason, we of the Sandspur believe that it would be of interest to everyone at Rollins to know how a veteran sees Rollins. . .” Two or three of the best entries would be published in The Sandspur, and the one judged best would win a prize of five dollars.
Veterans were very much a part of campus life at this time. One hundred twenty-two of the 534 students enrolled in 1945-1946 were ex-servicemen, making them almost 25 percent of the student population.
The three selected entries, presented here as they originally appeared in The Sandspur, discuss many aspects of veterans’ College experiences. The first addresses some of the differences between ex-servicemen and other students.
The second essay is a very personal story of a veteran’s experience of war and its aftermath.
The third editorial offers a perspective on what veterans need from others as they resume their postwar lives and pursue their goals.
The Rollins Roll of Honor is no longer on our campus, but we do have a Veterans Memorial (pictured below). It was given to the College by Rollins veteran William F. Koch, Jr. ’49 and his wife, Mary Lou Sommer Koch ’48, in honor of all those at Rollins who have served.
~ by D. M. Moore, Archival Specialist