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.
S. Eugene Younts (B.S. 1952, M.S. 1954) of Athens, GA.
Excerpts from a letter dated June 27, 2005.
"When arriving in the fall of 1948 as a freshman in agricultural education from Davidson County, I felt engulfed by the numbers of veterans taking advantage of the GI Bill. Many of them were scarcely more than two to four years older than I was, but in terms of experience and determination, they were light years ahead. They led the way in most activities, and their maturity challenged all of us never in military service to do our best. We had to meet the challenge lest we be left far behind. Nothing was more important to my education than what I learned from the veterans. Their stories of the war still resonate within my being. If we younger ones got out of line, they jerked us up, and their classroom performances set a torrid pace. . . .
Never can I forget those classes in army barracks and Quonset huts so drafty and drab as the [exhibit] catalog describes so eloquently. The pictures are of people I knew and respected and attempted to emulate. Fred Wagoner was a great athlete and student and so was his twin brother, John. . . I believe one of the photos shows Fred or John sharing a copy of the N. C. State Agriculturist. You have awakened a very pleasant past for which I am most grateful."
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