War Diplomas

Lew Hutton '43

Almost immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the declaration of war, America changed. Everything was viewed through the prism of the war effort. This was also true at PMC. In January 1942, PMC announced an accelerated academic program so students could graduate in three years. The plan called for three academic sessions, two of which corresponded to the regular school calendar, and a third session held for 11 weeks during the summer. This allowed cadets to attend classes all year. “Thus, the present junior class will be graduated in February 1943; the present sophomore class in August, 1943; and the present freshman class in June, 1944.”

Layout 1Developments in the war changed rapidly, and in 1943 the junior and senior classes were called to active duty. Although the juniors had not completed their work under the accelerated program, PMC granted the juniors their diplomas at the Commencement exercises marked with the words, “War Diploma.”

A few of these graduates, like Lew Hutton ‘43 who studied civil engineering, returned after their service and completed their work.