Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, April 8, 2018, pg. 13
During World War I, much of Albion College was transformed into a military base for officer training, called the Students'Army Training Corps. Over 200 young men took part in the program, directed by the U.S. War Department. They took over North Hall for use as a dormitory, as well as the Sigma Chi House. Operations were headquartered in the Epworth Building. Students attended regular college classes, but also had two hours of military training each day. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union Building on E. Erie St. near downtown was used for daily mess, with meals served three times a day.
The military emphasis affected normal collect extra-curricular activities such as football practice, debate study, band practice, and fraternity activities. This situation lasted until the Armistice of November 11, 1918. The program was soon ended and the last S.A.T.C. men left on December 15, 1918.
Because of the military activities on campus, there was no Albionian yearbook. Instead, the senior class of 1918 issued their own 54-page soft-cover yearbook entitled "War Special, Seniors, 1918." It was distributed in April of that year. This was a mini-yearbook containing the necessary photographs of the graduating class, the faculty, and just one or two paragraph descriptions of campus clubs, organizations, and activities. There was no advertising that appeared in its pages, nor sports team's photographs or special events photographs. It was printed locally at the Recorder Press. A page was devoted to the increasing military activities on campus, mentioning the military drills, listing the Albion Military Company and its officers and officials.
The cover was very artistic, featuring an eagle on top, with a rectangle containing 27 stars in the center. The eagle was drawn by freshman Frain C. Hartwell (1898-1957). The editorial staff introduced the yearbook as follows: "This Senior War Special is the product of many loving hands. We wished to leave you with a printed memory of what Albion has been doing this year, even during the intensified year of a six-day schedule. Our Albion shines far out on all sides, especially now with over 150 stars on the service flag representing men nearing the battlefield. In this day when the cry of patriotism is strongest, let us remember to be loyal to our college."
From our Historical Notebook this week we present the cover of the 1918 Albion College War Special yearbook, issued 100 years ago.
The cover of the 1918 Albion College War Special yearbook.
All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic