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By Charles Dorn (auth.)

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1 Stanford University enrollment, 1940/45 Source: Stanford University Bulletin, Annual Registers, 1940/46 (Stanford: Stanford University Press). 21 The Baltimore conference was one of a series of efforts on the part of higher education administrators to make their institutions’ needs and resources known to the government and armed forces. 22 Participants called for colleges’ and universities’ increased involvement in defense preparation. Five months later, Stanford hosted a similar conference for higher education administrators in the western United States.

In response, administrators like Wilbur continued their public outcry for the government to take advantage of the resources that institutions of higher education, such as Stanford, offered. ”26 Indeed, how to make up for financial losses resulting from the draft was colleges’ and universities’ central challenge during World War II. When government and industry leaders finally offered assistance, it came in the form of contracts awarded specifically for the purpose of advancing the war effort. Taking primarily two forms, the contracts were designed to employ the university in research and to supplement the use of university facilities and personnel.

Where appropriate, therefore, I place the Bay Area in a broader comparative perspective by examining data from centers of defense production throughout the United States, including those in and around Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Vancouver, and Seattle. Yet as thoughtfully chosen and well-constructed case studies in the history of American education should, this examination of a compelling period of national crisis illuminates tremendously important questions about the meaning and purpose of education in a democratic society.

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