The War Years at PMC

The war years presented PMC with both challenges and opportunities. In 1943, the junior and senior classes were called to active duty. Most of the juniors were near completion of their studies in an accelerated program and graduated with special “War Diplomas.”01_Calisthenics_AST

In June, 325 soldiers arrived at PMC for Army Specialized Training. The AST program was started in 1943 in order to educate qualified soldiers to fill the Army’s need for high-quality technicians and specialists. PMC, along with dozens of other colleges and universities, was selected by the War Department to participate in the AST program. These soldiers were offered a standard college curriculum leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in engineering and chemistry. While at PMC these soldiers were on active duty, wore their military uniforms and were under military discipline.

In 1944, Colonel Frank Hyatt reported that the Corps consisted of 100 cadets, about two-thirds of which were preparatory students. The 1944 Commencement exercises were cancelled that year so that PMC could prepare for the arrival of a group of 225 Reserve students. By that time, the cadets had been trained as instructors. The next graduation was held in August 1945, and 1946 witnessed a mid-year graduation for cadets George E. Pranis and Norman J. Stein along with 47 ASTP students. After passage of the G.I. Bill in 1946, PMC began to enroll veterans as day and boarding student