We all faced some unusual circumstances this past week, but Samford rallied and in the words of new history professor Carlos Aleman, we made new believers in southern hospitality. The Snowpocalypse of 2014 left faculty, staff and commuter students stranded on campus. Students slept on cots in the gym and chow lines were long. This is reminiscent of another time in Samford’s history when students endured a much longer displacement on the East Lake campus during World War II.
In no way are we comparing a snow storm to the devastation of World War II, but Howard College alumni Page Kelley expressed some similar sentiments about the unusual circumstances in the below reprint of a 1945 Crimson editorial he wrote explaining how the war changed Howard.
Howard is by nature a peace-loving institution. In fact, she is a pacifist. War is contradictory to all she stands for. She hates war so intently that she early pledged her support to our nation’s efforts to bring to justice those who were responsible for beginning the war. She actively entered the war with the coming of the first Navy V-12 unit in February of 1943.
If Rip Van Winkle had been a Howard College student, he wouldn’t have needed twenty years of sleep to make him feel like a complete stranger on his own campus. Just a five-year doze from 1940 to 1945 would have been sufficient. Howard is at war, and the war has cast its influence over all phases of campus life.
Howard is proud that she can point to some of these changes and say, “This is Howard at war.”
It is the Navy. It is the sight of blue ranks of men marching briskly around Berry Field, or standing stiffly at attention as the clear sound of a bugle floats over the campus. It is a classroom filled with sailors. It is flag-raising at sunrise. It is a group of men entering Smith Hall and climbing stairs where “only ladies had trod.” It is a wreath placed on Tar Baby’s grave at Christmas. It is a disappointed sailor leaving the post office. It is the rush for chow. This is Howard at war.
It is the entire student body assembled in the auditorium on D-Day for prayer. It is paying tribute to Howard’s heroes and listening to Rod Calhoun’s adventures. It is being addressed by the C. O. at Thanksgiving. This is Howard at war. It is a co-ed seated at her desk before his picture, holding in her hand a telegram which begins – “We regret to inform you…” She, too, is a part of Howard at war.
Howard IS at war. And she is proud that she can say, “I have fought the good fight.” The war may have changed Howard. It is certain that Howard has helped to change the war. –Page Kelley
Page H. Kelley graduated from Howard in 1945 and went on to become a renown Old Testament scholar and author of several Hebrew textbooks.