History Department


History 303: Research and Writing Seminar in History


Andrew Morris


World War II would bring many hardships to the country and the lives of citizens within the United States. Specifically, those of higher education would be greatly impacted. Cal Poly originally had been fortunate enough to not feel these hardships when war initially started. However, due to a huge financial loss; Cal Polys main source of income, the college would be amongst others struggling to maintain normal school operations. Julian McPhee; President of Cal Poly during WWII, would begin to scramble for financial answers; meanwhile, the school’s admissions continued to decline. The explorations of McPhees reactions to the financial distress of WWII will be explored throughout the paper. It will further be demonstrating McPhee’s solution and motives to save the college from a global crisis. Ultimately, this paper will illustrate the contrast of reactions from other institutions of higher education and how they differentiate from that of Cal Poly. Overall, McPhee’s response to relieve Cal Polys’ financial burden would drastically alter everyday campus life for students and faculty members.

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