During World War Two the UP enrollment numbers crashed. By 1945 we were working with an abbreviated calendar, reduced personnel, and an expanded break between terms.
The Commencement exercises of May 27, 1945 bestowed degrees on 32 graduates, of whom 23 were Nursing students, and included four others who received their diplomas in absentia because the new graduates were already undergoing military training. So while the front page of the final Beacon of the 1944-1945 school year begins with the Commencement announcement and those thirty-two names; the last two pages of the newspaper are the final installment of a massive project to list all UP alumni, faculty, and students on active military service. Thus, pages 3-4 give one hundred and fifty-five names, from Swanson to Zoeter (inclusive). A fraction of the whole.
Peace arrived during the summer. The first Beacon issue for the new year announces new hope and new conditions for the new school term. Already in October there is a surge in enrollment though the great majority of the American military had yet to be discharged and demobbed back to civilian life. Not that normalcy is restored overnight, or after five months. Still, turning a corner in the summer of 1945, which marks the beginning of a longed-for beginning begun.
1949 Log, pg. 20
The Beacon, May 1945 – Message from University President, Rev. Charles Miltner, C.S.C.