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Home > Furman University Resources > Furman University during the WWI Period (1914-1921)

Furman University during the WWI Period
by Eddie Mazgaj
(Completed for a History 465 internship)

Old Main
Photo of Old Main on the Downtown Campus

The Great War was a global conflict that had enormous societal consequences, especially on Europe’s political identity. Although the United States only participated in the final third of the war’s duration, that experience significantly affected the workings of the nation. As in most educational institutions, the World War I era (1914-1921) clearly impacted the lives of Furman students and changes to Furman University and the Greenville Woman’s College. The latter date was chosen, because that was when Furman erected its Doughboy statue, which brought closure to the period by memorializing the human sacrifices of the war. I consolidated the information studied into four main categories, which offer insight on what the war meant for all those affected. In my research, I chose to analyze how different textual sources perceived the war and its aftermath; how the administrations of both Furman University and the Greenville Woman's College responded to changing conditions; how student demographics were affected; and how the wartime correspondence of three students contributed to an understanding of the war’s effects. These areas of study represented the bulk of information at my disposal to issues important and relevant to World War I and the postwar. This analysis strives to elucidate and expand what is known about this era of Furman history.

Written by Eddie Mazgaj