|1939 Pine Needles|
In 1939, Preyer’s senior year, The Dean of Women Harriet Elliot brought her friend First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to campus. In this excerpt from her Oral History, Emily Preyer discusses her encounter with Roosevelt. "I was president of the student government, so—Dr. [Walter Clinton] Jackson lived right there on campus, and so he had a—Miss Elliott had a tea for her, and I never will forget Mrs. Roosevelt came down and we were all so excited. I had somebody from every class saying I was pouring the tea, and I said, "Mrs. Roosevelt, will you have tea or coffee?" And she said, “Well, honey, I’ll have it in my cup, whatever,” because I was pouring it right on the silver tray. Oh, she was a wonderful lady, Mrs. Roosevelt."
|College Judicial Board, 1939 Pine Needles yearbook|
In 1943, Preyer joined the American Red Cross. She chose the Red Cross over the Navy WAVES or the Army WAC because the training time was only two weeks. Preyer was stationed in Perth and Brisbane, Australia and Subic Bay, Philippines.
|Preyer in her Red Cross uniform|
Fremantle Submarine Base was near Perth and the Red Cross worked with many of the enlisted submariners.
"They [U.S. Navy submariners] called me 'the Rebel.' This boy that was on a submarine said, 'Rebel, you know what? You always make me feel homesick because I lived up in Maine, and every winter when the wild geese were flying over my house going south for the winter, they’d go 'Waah! Waah! Waah!' and you just remind me of those geese.' And of course they just kidded me about my twang till I could scream."
|Emily Preyer and her husband in the 1975 Alumni News|
Learn more about Emily Preyer and other women who served in the American Red Cross and the United States Armed Forces at the Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project.
This story was written by Sara Maeve Whisnant, a student in the Master's in Library and Information Studies program at UNCG. Sara Maeve has worked with the Women Veterans Historical Project as a student assistant since 2014.