Wayne University Admissions Office and Acting Registrar Records
The Admissions Office and Acting Registrar Records consist of documents concerning incoming veteran students. Enrollment listings, correspondence, reports, statistics, admission interviews, and studies comprise the majority of the records. Two folders relate to the admission and enrollment of relocated Japanese-American ("Nisei," meaning "second-generation") students at Wayne State during World War II.
After the passage of the G.I. Bill in 1944, Wayne University received an influx of incoming veteran students. Dr. Leslie L. Hanawalt was the Acting Registrar and Director of Admissions of Wayne University at this time. In his 1968 book A Place of Light: The History of Wayne State University, he writes about the veteran period: “The body of veteran students that enrolled in American colleges after World War II has often been written about. At Wayne University several generalizations are remembered: the veterans were too numerous and came upon the campus too rapidly; everyone felt an interest in them and desired to help them with counsel and special programs, if necessary; a good many of them were married; they were on the whole patient and easy to deal with; and they performed well as students, on the average probably better than if their formal education had not been interrupted by the war. For the most important fact about them was that they were two or three years older than the average student; they were often clearer about what they wanted, more serious, more used to working, more strongly motivated. These characteristics combined to make the veteran period a bright spot in academic history.”
Nisei students were relocated to Detroit with the aid of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council and enrolled beginning with the fall 1943 semester. In the summer of 1943 there were five non-evacuee Japanese American students at Wayne State, by the fall of 1943 there were thirteen enrolled Nisei students, and by the winter 1944 semester there were thirty-five relocated Nisei students enrolled.
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