Rosemont College During WWII


When the United States entered the war in 1942, the students of Rosemont College banded together in a variety of war relief programs which included the selling of Bonds and Stamps and training for service in the Red Cross. Here is a sampling of the activities during the war years.    

Victory Bond and Stamp Sale


As the war taxed on in Europe, Americans began buying War Bonds and Stamps in an effort to raise money for the war effort. Colleges and Universities across the country banded together in a concentrated effort to sell Bonds and Stamps for the “War Savings Program.” Mother Cleophas, then president of the college, was  asked to buy Bonds and Stamps from the US government to support the war effort and to sell the bonds and stamps through a campus wide campaign. Rosemont would go on to sell $120,931 in Bonds and $5, 287 in Stamps.



War Relief Society



In collaboration with a nation-wide relief effort, Rosemont students created the War Relief Society on campus to “send tokens of cheer abroad.” Society members created “care packages” to send to the British Relief Effort and raised money through various activities. Society members started a sweater competition for US soldiers, giving a prize to the student who made the most sweaters. The Society also sent food, clothing, and money to the family of Marta Wankowicz ’42 who were imprisoned in a German ghetto.




Red Cross


The students, faculty, and staff joined together to create a Red Cross Unit on campus to help with the war effort and to “prepare the home front” in case of attack. Students are shown here in the Red Cross uniform to raise money for the British War Relief Effort. Students were taught basic nursing skills, how to make bandages and dressings, and took courses in Home Defense. The Red Cross Unit on campus was a vital part of everyday life during the War years and was one of the main contributors to the war effort.


Air Raid Practice

Although the War remained mostly in Europe, the US Government felt all Americans should prepare themselves for the possibility of an air raid. Rosemont Faculty created the Defense Council and determined “shelter” points across campus where students and staff could escape to if needed. For instance the basements of Good Counsel, the Chapel, and the Library were used as shelters during air raid drills. As seen here students are gathered for a drill in the basement of Good Counsel.


Cadets Needed


Aviation Companies as well as other industrious corporations sent advertisements geared toward young women to join the work force while “their men where overseas.”  Mother Mary Cleophas (President) was approached by the Curtis Wright Corporation in New Jersey to encourage Rosemont students interested in Engineering to work for college experience in the factories, producing airplane equipment for the war effort.  Women, or Cadets as they were soon called, received free room and board plus a salary of $10 a week. It is not known if any Rosemont students joined the Curtis-Wright Corporation but many college age women in the local PA area went to work in such factories.    


Letter to Mother Mary Cleophas, 1945


Toward the end of the war the US Treasury began to collect data from the colleges that participated in the “Colleges at War Program.” Mother Mary Cleophas (President) was asked to report on the total sales of Bonds and Stamps and encouraged to continue selling even when the war was over.