Recollections Contributed to the NCSU Libraries in 2005
After learning about the NCSU Libraries' exhibit, a number of former GI Bill beneficiaries, family members and friends shared their own recollections of returning to civilian and college life after World War II or Korea. Because their accounts contribute to the historical record, the Libraries requested the correspondents' permission to add their letters to the NC State Alumni Collection in the University Archives of the Special Collections Research Center. Here are a few excerpts.
William M. Bland, Jr. (Class of 1947) of Houston, Texas
Excerpts from two letters dated June 23 and November 1, 2005.
"I was one of those students who attended NC State three ways: as a civilian student, as an Army student, and as a veteran. This was over a sporadic period from Fall of 1941 through graduation in Spring of 1947. . . . At one time, we had 8 bunks in one room of what I remember as Old South Dormitory, but I cannot find it on your 1948 map. We were Army guys at that time and were burned out of Berry Dormitory on a cold, snowy night, then moved to Old South. My best memories are living on three separate occasions (Fall '42 and Spring '43, Spring '46, and all school year '46-'47) in Watauga Hall. What a nice place! [...]
There is a lot more that could be said about a lot of my great instructors, the lasting friendships that were formed, and how a lot learned was applied to my career in the Service, at NACA/NASA, and as an independent management and technical consultant. NC State was a great school for me!"
Marion R. Cochran (Class of 1950) of Greensboro, N.C.
Excerpts from two letters dated July 6 and August 9, 2005.
"Thanks for sending the Transforming Society catalog! It sure brings back memories of my days at State College. I first 'roomed' across the street from Tompkins Hall in the Stimpsons' basement with about eight other freshmen. We had one makeshift shower and toilet. Then I went to 326 Syme Hall for the remainder, when they placed four students in #326 -- [but only] two desks. The GI Bill was my ticket to a civil engineering education. . . . Thanks for thinking of the returning veterans."
Bill Garrabrant (Class of 1957) of Raleigh, N.C.
Excerpt from a June 2005 letter.
"My brother, John Richard Garrabrant, NCSU 1937, was killed in Normandy 61 years ago this week so did not benefit from the GI Bill, but his only son and daughter did. Dr. Edgar Garrabrant passed away two years ago from cancer but most of his college education was paid for from benefits from his father's service. A lot of folks probably don't know this benefit was passed on. Dr. Garrabrant was an outstanding ENT physician in the Raleigh community for 30 years, until his passing."
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