The Built Environment: 130 Years of Growth, Development, and Change on the USU Campus: Aggies at Arms: Impact of World War I and World War II
Aggies at Arms: Impacts of World War I and World War II
President E.G. Peterson and his young family had hardly moved into the President’s Home when the U.S. became embroiled in WWI. As part of its land-grant mission, USU maintains a long tradition of military training, beginning in 1892 with the arrival of Lt. Henry D. Styer. At President Peterson’s request in 1916, the War Department commissioned the college’s Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). The military tradition became more significant as the college provided essential military education during WWI. Over 600 American “doughboys,” received mechanical training and more than 1,000 students served during the Great War.
With the influx of soldiers and trainees, the campus struggled to provide adequate housing. Congress authorized construction of temporary, wooden barracks, but Peterson convinced the governor and legislature to allocate additional funds to build them from brick. Peterson’s foresight resulted in a near doubling of the physical campus by 1920.