Monday, October 23, 2017

History of the Service League

Today's Spartan Stories post was written by Arlen Hansen, a PhD student in History. Arlen worked in Special Collections and University Archives during Summer 2017, assisting with research related to the University's 125th anniversary celebration.


The Service League was established in 1942 as a student organization at the Woman’s College (later known as UNCG) to help U.S. troops during World War II. That year, according to the Greensboro Daily News, more than 100 students from the college volunteered for secretarial and lab work at the Greensboro chapter of the American Red Cross. During the 1944-1945 academic year, the League raised $11,700, which was enough monies to purchase six field ambulances for the Red Cross. Dropping the “War” part of their moniker at the of WWII in 1945, the Service League continued as a campus organization to help the less fortunate in the United States and throughout the world.

Campus Purse Drive totals
During the years of the Korean War (1950-1953), the League was very active. In 1952-53, the League was proud to report on their work “of conservation and improvement of the grounds and the soda shop,” as well as the placing of “KEEP OFF THE GRASS signs…in various spots on campus.” Other initiatives that year including collecting clothing donations and fundraising. Much of the donations were raised by going “dorm to dorm,” in what had become known as the yearly Campus Purse Drive. The other major fundraiser for the year was a faculty talent show.  Among the organizations which subsequently received the $3,400 dollars raised were the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, and other nonprofits for cancer and polio research.

Additionally, the Service League sponsored a semi-annual blood drive in which a “Blood Mobile” would come to the campus each semester to collect blood donations. Most of the blood was shipped to South Korea for use in U.S. field hospitals there. The Blood Mobile visits would continue each year even after the Korean War, lasting until the 1980s. Also during the 1950s and 1960s, the Service League helped to fund the Foreign Scholarship Fund, which helped a foreign student’s study at the University.   

The exact causes are not clear, but in 1971 the Service League disbanded.

No comments:

Post a Comment