The 1940’s was a period of growth for Baylor University in more ways than one. Access was being expanded across many facets of campus life, local initiatives, and global education. World War II was a catalyst for increasing access in many aspects of education, including women’s education and the education of foreign students. New structures on campus such as the Student Union Building (SUB) provided a central meeting place on campus that brought students, alumni, faculty and the community together. The campus landscape and lifestyle continued to change throughout the 1940’s as access increased for women, minorities and the general campus population.
Ms. Yolande Graham informs us on how the SUB provided a hub for student meetings, faculty interaction and alumni connections in The Baylor University Union- Providing new opportunities for access to the Baylor community. As a central location on campus, the Student Union increased access for all students to interact with one another and the rest of the Baylor and Waco community.
Ms. Alyssa Lowe comments on Baylor’s commitment to coeducation and how various members of the Baylor community helped spur increases in access to education for women in Baylor University: Female Advocates for Access 1941-1950. The war especially contributed to increased education in nursing courses, as well as mechanical and aviation courses which were previously inaccessible to women.
Globally, Baylor supported the education of returning GI’s as well as foreign students who had heard of Baylor abroad and came to study at the institution. In Baylor University: Access and Enrollment of Foreign Students in the 1940’s, Mr. Kimo Cummings discusses how access to education was expanding not only to American citizens returning from war but also to those who had heard of Baylor abroad and traveled to Texas to be immersed in its culture, mission and values.
The World War II era, although generally studied as a part of global history, can also be examined in effects on the Baylor population. The era helped to increase access in Baylor’s campus life, the education of women and the education of GI’s and students from abroad. The 1940’s was an era of growth and development for Baylor University not only on campus but also in the community and on a global platform.