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Class of 1943...


The 1943 Microcosm was dedicated to “the people’s cause to the Century of the Common Man.”

The Class of 1943 felt the impact of World War II and understood the necessity for undergraduate participation. In October 1941, the Student Council took the lead on other colleges by creating the Student Council Defense Committee. Under Leonard Cohen, the Committee embarked on campaigns to enlist civilian defense workers of all sorts, to sell War Saving Bods and Stamps, and to collect scrap, books and organize a City College group of blood donors.

The administration joined the war effort by creating the Civil Defense Council. CDC sponsored a variety of drives. City College led all other colleges in bond and stamp sales, bring in a total of over a quarter million dollars.

In 1941, using WPA labor, a roomy new drill-hall for City College’s growing ROTC program was erected and dedicated by Mayor LaGuardia. The program increased enrollment from 1200 students to 2300, making it the largest ROTC unit in the country.

The Student War Board instituted a series of weekly “Win the War” forums featuring prominent speakers. In the Great Hall, the foreign minister of the Czechoslovak Republic, Dr. Masaryk, spoke at a United Nations rally on April 9, and, in the fall, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a “Win the War” lecture at the College.

In the midst of the war effort, life at the College continued. A new student newspaper, Spirit of ‘43, was launched but halted publication after the Junior Prom. A number of smokers were held in the old Armory and the Hamilton Hotel. Uniformed students attend the Senior Prom at the Plaza Hotel, as gasoline and other cut rations reminded students of the ongoing war. The Junior Nite Dance was held in Hansen Hall. The technology fraternity, Epsilon Nu Gamma was formed and planned smokers, bowling parties, and dances. House Plan held a “huge social affair” in Drill Hall. There were also Friday afternoon dances and boat rides which provided several hundred students with one-day pilgrimages to Bear Mountain.

The College also welcomed a new president. Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia and Justice Felix Frankfurter attend the inauguration ceremony as Dr. Harry N. Wright replaced Acting President Dr. Nelson P. Mead as the new president of the City College. In student government, the office of the ’43 Student President changed hands three times before it came to rest securely with Bill Rosenblum.

in the summer of 194, renovation of the student lunchroom began. Finally in 1942, the eagerly awaited eatery opened for business. The passing of the “black hole of City College” or “academic sardine can,” as it was called, terminated one of the most colorful chapters in the College’s history. While the remodeling did away with the unpopular stand-up-and-eat tables, it also removed the famed alcoves with their daily diet of political arguments, horse-play, and ping-pong matches. Alcove One with Iggy Olicker which provided hours of entertainment and laughter was forever gone.

In sports, CCNY’s fencing team had a successful season beating its long-standing rival NYU. Coach Nat Holman led CCNY’s basketball team to four consecutive victories over NYU in the ardently-fought series knotted 14-all. Baseball witnessed a new era with the appointment of Sam Winograns as coach. CCNY’s swim team won seventeen of twenty-six meets over the four years. Track runner, Dave Polansky set a new record for the 1/2 mile run. The cross country team had the most successful season in College history winning 2 out of 5 meets. The CCNY football team played against Brooklyn College and raised $2,588 for the Red Cross. The tennis team went undefeated for the first time in City College’s history.

Many of these class notes are excerpted from the 1943 Microcosm, Editor-in-Chief Stanley Baruch





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