World War I

When the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, Northeastern had just completed its first year as an incorporated college and only one week prior President Frank Palmer Speare had been inaugurated.

Northeastern’s involvement in the American war effort was almost immediate, starting with a drastic revisioning of the curriculum. The government took over the School of Co-operative Engineering as a Student Army Training Corps unit. The special military preparation program offered courses such as Foreign Trade, Personal Development, and Military French to “prepare men so that they may go to [military] camp ready for promotion.”

War Program
Student Army Training Corps
The Patriot's Duty

The military unit was active at Northeastern for a little less than a year; at the start of the school year in 1918, students were sent home for two weeks after registration and, when they returned, an Army barracks large enough for over 200 men had been built on land currently occupied by Dodge Hall. Northeastern military students served a two-month period in Army service off-campus. When the Armistice was declared on November 11, 1918, the Northeastern students were sent back to school and the barracks and other temporary Army buildings were broken down.

The actual military involvement of Northeastern students in World War I was very limited and almost entirely confined to domestic service. After the Armistice, the Army left Northeastern and Northeastern turned its attention to pressing matters, such as a rapidly growing student body and the ever-increasing demand for more courses.