Remembering the GI Bulge: Life on Campus 1946-1950

Although the vets were welcomed and supported by the campus community, they could never fully belong to the college scene. In part this was because most of them lived off campus. Yet vets were also physically and emotionally different from nonvets. For one thing, they did not look like the typical College Joe....Money also separated veterans and nonveterans in other ways. With few dollars to spare, veterans did not go out on the town much, but instead held cookouts, picnics, and parties at their homes...While nonveterans were rushing sororities and fraternities, veterans were forming their own special organizations. By summer 1947, three veterans' organizations were active on campus: the University chapter of the American Veterans' Committee, the Syracuse Veterans' Assembly, and the Women Veterans of Syracuse.

~ Syracuse University Magazine, February 1987 

Boars Head Program

Despite the differences between veterans and nonveterans, and the obvious difficulties faced by overcrowding, life on campus during the years of the GI Bulge reflected much of what one would expect on a college campus. The items represent only a few of the events taking place during these years.

Pan Hellenic Handbook Civic University Theatre Program

SU Yearbook

Life went on for all students culminating in yearbooks and graduation

1947 Commencement ESF Yearbook


After a hiatus during World War II, athletics began again only to face a catastrophic fire that destroyed Archbold Gymnasium in January 1947. Several alumni recall "getting a date" for the gym fire as a memorable moment in their time at SU

Archbold Gymnasium fire January,1947 Roughly 80% of the 1947 varsity football team were GI veterans.

SU Magazine SU Magazine SU Magazine