North Field

Members of the Navy V-12 Program are in formation on the North Athletic Field. The naval members are in white uniforms to the right and the marine members are to the left in khaki uniforms. Davis Gymnasium, which is not visible in the photograph, is to the right. The men's tennis courts are barely visible to the upper left in the photograph. Three buildings are visible at the top of the hill beyond Moore Avenue, on which several cars are visible. The building to the right is the Vaughan Literature Building. To the immediate left of the Vaughan Literature Building is the Delta Sigma fraternity house. To the far left is the Engineering Building. This photograph was taken from the top of a grassy bank that was on the west side of the athletic field next to the Lewisburg Cemetery.

The Navy V-12 Program, 1943-1946

In April 1943, the University entered into an agreement with the Navy Department to operate a V-12 Program. Of the 600 naval trainees proposed for Bucknell, 480 were currently enrolled in colleges and "…would continue in their regular college courses." The other 120 were "mostly…present high school seniors." The program began on July 1, 1943. The University had no voice in the selection of the men to the program but it did "…have everything to say regarding their retention."

The University made arrangements for the V-12 trainees to use the pool of the Milton Y.M.C.A. for swimming instruction, but the Navy was not "…entirely satisfied with this arrangement due to the limited size of the pool, transportation and other problems." In 1943, the University considered "…the feasibility of erecting a swimming pool on campus, making the structure of a temporary nature and making the installation in such a manner that it could be made permanent for swimming pool use later on", but this was rejected.

By the November Term in 1944, the enrollment of Navy men had been reduced by forty per cent, falling from 598 in July 1943 to 358, and the Navy was not planning to send new men to Bucknell. In 1944, the University made an effort to obtain one of the forty new Naval R.O.T.C. units but was unsuccessful. Although the Navy Department desired to continue the naval training program, the Trustees voted in December 1945 to discontinue it "as of February 28, 1946." The University received $1,062,114.65 from the Navy Department "…for instruction and the use of facilities during the period that the Navy contract was in effect…"from July 1, 1943 to June 30, 1946.

Proposed Closing of South Seventh Street Over the Hill

Note the road going from the Vaughan Literature Building to Moore Avenue, which incidentally received that name in 1946. In 1946, the Trustees recommended that South Seventh Street "…from the junction of Walker Street to the top of the hill" be closed to general vehicular traffic "…and that it be used for pedestrians and service purposes only." All vehicular traffic would be diverted to "…the newly rebuilt road leading to the Vaughan Literature Building." However, making an application for closing the road from the junction of Walker Street and Moore Avenue to the junction of River Road was not pursued because of objection from another property owner.

"...would continue in..." and "mostly...present high..." BT '20-'50, 4/22/1943, p. 1

"...have everything to say..." ib., 12/16/1944, p. 2

"...entirely satisfied with..." and "...the feasibility of..." ib., 12/18/1943, p. 2

"as of February 28, 1946" ib., 12/15/1945, p. 2

"...for instruction and..." ib., 6/29/1946, p. 8

"...from the junction of...", "...and that it...", and "..the newly rebuilt..." ib., p. 11

The major source for the information on this page is the Minutes of the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, 1920-1950 (BT '20-'50).