STORIES

The War Effort

1943: Sullivan and students
Dean Sullivan with students in 1943.

In 1941, after the War Department requested all accredited engineering colleges to provide engineering, science, and management training for people in war industries at the government's expense, Dean George Sullivan and faculty member Ralph Seban outlined a plan for the courses Santa Clara could offer. 

The School of Engineering requested and received $30,000 for new equipment and $9-12 per class hour for teachers; classes were taught by Santa Clara faculty and by those from other engineering schools. Some professors from San Jose State, whose programs were not accredited at the time, were hired by Santa Clara to teach courses in their own classrooms with Santa Clara paying for the equipment that needed to be purchased. Personnel from industry were also hired by Santa Clara to teach their fellow employees in their own facilities. Whether the classes were taught on a campus or in a manufacturing plant, tuition was free. 

During this time, Santa Clara's Law School was closed and their building was used for Engineering, Science, and Management War Training (ESMWT) courses. Women were encouraged to take the courses, particularly in mechanical drawing. Commenting on the success of the program, Sullivan later said: “The [ESMWT] program was carried out very successfully and over 850 certificates were issued to those who completed courses. In contrast with this, 793 engineering diplomas have been awarded by the University in the years from 1915 to 1956.”