Class of 1944...
The 1944 Microcosm-Lexicon was dedicated to "A New world of Freedom."
In the words of the 1944 Microcosm-Lexicon: "Nineteen forty-four was a year of strife, a year of disorder, a year of sacrifice; a year but containing one bright ray of sunshine—the certainty of ultimate victory. But out of the chaos that engulfed the entire globe a new day, a new way of living was to arise. We stood on the threshold of a long-awaited changed world—a world of Freedom, not only political, but economic and social as well; Freedom for all races, all creeds, all opinions."
The 600 men and women that comprised the Class of 1944 welcomed Professor Harry N. Wright, Director of the Evening Session, as the new president of City College in September 1942. Dr. Wright replaced the Chairman of the History Department, Nelson P. Mead who served as Acting President after the College's fifth president, Frederick Robinson retired in 1963.
In addition to a new president, the Class of '44 welcomed a number of more female students to its ranks. In their freshman year, a couple of women had slipped through the loophole in the Tech School's rules, to major in engineering. After that, in 1942, three professional schools of the college—Technology, Business, and Education, opened their doors to women. Only the College of Liberal Arts and Science remained adamant against the admission of women.
Pursuing their education in the midst of World War II, the Class of 1944 was faced with unique challenges and opportunities. With ever-growing frequency 1944 classmen were drafted into various services; large numbers of the remainder of the Class of '44 males enlisted.
Spurred by the emergency, and then by the actual entrance of the United States into the war, the City College unit of Reserve Officers Training Corps increased enrollment from a total of 1,200 two years ago to over 2,300, making it the largest ROTC unit in the country.
Many members of the Class of '44 faced a spirited race between graduation and the army. In 1943, the elimination of the usual spring vacation for the purpose of permitting a lengthened summer term, in accordance with the new accelerated program afforded men the chance to earn their degree and speed up their graduation.
Determined to support the War Effort to the best of their abilities, the Class of '44 helped organize one of the first Student Defense Councils in the country. Under the leadership of Leonard Cohen, the CCNY Student Defense Council sold more than $250,000 worth of stamps and bonds; this led the Red Cross to dedicate two City College days.
While the pleasures of the future were uncertain, the Class of 1944 took full advantage of all the social activities on campus. The Class of '44 enjoyed its first co-ed affair, the Soph Strut, a dance in the Hotel Pennsylvania's Keystone Room with Orrin Tucker and his band providing the music. The Class of '44 also enjoyed the Gala Junior Nite Dance which was held in Hensen Hall. During the senior prom, 129 couples danced and dined at the beautiful Starlight Roof at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Sports continued to be one of the most popular class activities. For the second straight semester, the Class of '44 won the Intermural Pennant. Marve Kuperman exhibited his great capabilities by doubling as Athletic Manager and Editor of the Intramural Leader. Contributing to their intramural success were Stan Kugan, Paul Pilzer and others.
Many of these class notes are excerpted from the 1944 Microcosm, Editor-in-Chief Jerome D. Luntz