The environment was not hostile, however. From September 1942
until January 1944, the Wake Forest Community Center served as a
USO for the soldiers with Lou N. Williams as director. It had the
usual facilities for servicemen and sponsored a weekly dance with
female partners volunteering from the town and the college. Dr. O.
C. Bradbury of the Biology Department was chairman of the
executive committee with Mrs. George C. Mackie, wife of the
college physician, as vice chairman; Prof. J. G. Carroll of the Math-
ematics Department, as treasurer; and Mrs. Harvey Holding, a
townsperson, as recording secretary. College personnel staffed most
of the USO committees. The swimming pool behind the center
remained a public facility, but during designated hours, soldiers
could use it.
The presence of the troops created a phenomenon never before
seen in Wake Forest. Gangs of shoeshine boys congregated around
the College Book Store, at Hardwick's Pharmacy, and in the vicinity
of Holding's Drug and Soda Shop and Shorty's hamburger heaven.
Their number proliferated so rapidly that in the summer of 1943 the
town fathers declared them a public nuisance and ran them out of
For the college, as for the town, participation in patriotic en-
deavors was automatic. In October each student was asked to give
one dollar and each organization, five dollars toward a town War
Fund Drive. In the space of ten days $330.25 was collected toward
the support of the national USO, for prisoner relief, and assistance to
the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The following month there was a
scrap drive in which paper, tin cans, other metals, fats, rubber, and
old hoses were collected. Grady S. Patterson, college registrar, was
director of the drive for the town. In January 1944 Dr. J. A. Easley
of the Religion Department was chairman of a War Loan Drive in
which the quota for the Wake Forest School District was $100,000
with $700 as the college's share. In a month $103,000 was raised.
On the reduced campus Wait Hall was the center of college life. It
became the principal classroom building and housed the offices of
President Thurman D. Kitchin, Dean D. B. Bryan, Bursar E. B.
Earnshaw, Registrar Patterson, and, after some delay, Lois Johnson,
dean of women. Dean Johnson was responsible for the conduct of
the fifty-three junior and senior coeds living under close regulation
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