Twelve months ago, in a dry-cold span of four days, the College was reborn. Better than 1300 men filed, passively for the most part--for they were predominantly veterans and long since line-calloused--through Memorial Hall. In University Hall the 1300 became holes in a card, names which doubled the population of the College. Four months later 900, and five months ago another 2500, worried, distended, made sweat the Administration.
But a year ago was the crucial time. If something had happened, if the veteran had proved the explosive, neurotic animal that everybody supposed he might well be, the nation and the College could never have reached today's aura of comparative opulence. Right there, in the spring of 1946, the shape of many thins was determined.
Instead of tearing the lost life of the College into shreds, the veteran has infused it with tremendous new vigor; instead of brooding alone, the veteran has proved false the myth raised about his introspective shell.
On the surface it might be "back to normalcy," but it is not. Deep, abiding problems have shaken too many too seriously for fat complacency to be the keynote. If the community is split seeking answers, the important thing is that answers are being sought. They will be found, or stumbled upon, in large measure by those million-odd men here and in other colleges under the G.I. Bill. And when the veteran leaves his textbooks, he will have done more than master the tools necessary to answer questions. He will have reshaped the ideas of the country and refurbished the ideals of this and every other college.