War and Its Aftermath 21
Wake Forest got its share. Preference was given to students who
had previously attended the college, and in the 1945 fall enrollment
of 745 there were 215 women and 69 veterans. At the spring term of
1946 about 150 veterans were expected, and 300 showed up,
swelling the campus total to more than 1,000. The fall brought 1,519
students, among them 877 veterans; Registrar Patterson confirmed
that he had had to reject between four and five hundred applicants
simply because there was no place to put them. In the veterans' ranks
there were five women.
There was, in truth, no place to put all of those who were ad-
mitted, and in great good nature the town, the students, and the
college worked together to provide lodgings of some kind for
everyone. Women were in Bostwick and Hunter dormitories, even in
the basements and attics, and private residences which had normally
taken two men to a bedroom crowded in three. Simmons Dormitory,
once more fraternity row, had a normal quota of a hundred students,
but that fall it housed fifty more. On army cots in the basement of
the uncompleted chapel, a hundred men were sleeping and sharing a
Spartan existence which included cold showers. The administration
gave its approval to the erection of surplus army barracks across
from the heating plant, and a group of students bought them at Fort
Fisher for $125 each, hauled them to Wake Forest, and reassembled
them at a total cost of about $400. The structures were about sixteen
by forty-eight feet in size, with nine windows and two doors. There
were no inside partitions.
Somewhat more comfortable lodgings went up around the tennis
courts three blocks north of the campus on Faculty Avenue. For
$67,000 the college bought barracks once used at Camp Butner by
the Civilian Conservation Corps and authorized married veterans to
earn preference in occupancy by helping to make them habitable
once more. Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Barkley were the first to move in;
Barkley, a senior from Elm City, had accumulated 235 hours of
work to win his lodgings―and he still had to pay a nominal rental.
When completed, the old barracks provided forty-six apartments,
each with a living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bath with shower.
Several students provided their own housing in imaginative ways.
J. A. West, Jr., bought the last remaining unit of an abandoned
tourist court in his home town of Wilmington for fifty dollars. He
and his father removed the roof to allow for transit under