Write Columbia's History
Graduating While Serving in WWII
Paul Sandhaus
Columbia College 1944

On May 8, 1943, the Columbia Enlisted Reserve Corps (ERC) was called to active duty. We entrained at Penn Station bound for Camp Upton at Yaphank, Long Island. I believe there must have been several hundred of us. As I recall, we finished classes on Friday, May 7, and were in uniform on Saturday, the next day. Thus the semester was cut short by a few weeks, but we were given credit for the full term—without having to take final exams. The College instituted a policy of awarding ten elective points toward the degree after we completed a year of active duty. I took extra courses during my three undergraduate years and lacked just six elective points on May 8, 1943. One year later I was graduated in absentia and ever since have had a hard time explaining how I could have been in the army from 1943 to 1946 and graduated from college in 1944.

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