The outbreak of World War I
and the experience of students at Columbia University
The Columbiad was a student authored and edited publication published monthly. In that respect, it was not an organ of news and current events. The War in Europe began for Europe in 1914; the United States remaining outside the Great War until 1917, and even then the arguments and issues of America’s entry into the War were cast in a world, or global political context.
When the United States entered the war in April of 1917, the Columbiad editorializes for the support of the war and also reports that already 18 students have enlisted alongside 6 alumni recruits. By June, and high school commencement, the war is the significant reference for the graduation ceremony, and in the graduation issue the Columbiad prints an article of valedictory in which a remaining student combines in friendship and service those left behind as also taking part with their classmates who have volunteered, united together in the forward adventure of war service and the battle for freedom.
Worth David Clark graduates from the high school division of Columbia University in 1918, editor of the Columbiad and valedictorian in a class of 17 people.
Of those mentioned in Mr. Clark’s June 1917 article, Gerald Malarkey was one of only three sons of Columbia who died in war service; in total, Columbia contributed some 180 men and boys who enlisted as part of the war effort.