When the club was formed there were about 80 Bryant men and women deployed throughout the world. Over a 3 year period this number grew to over 500 Bryant alumni/ae engaged in World War II.
The nearly 1,400 letters received by the Bryant College Service Club from 1942 to 1945 were arranged in four scrapbooks, probably under the aegis of Miss Blaney, who was Director of the club in addition to her duties as Publicity Director and Director of Placement during this time.
In September of 2008 these letters were rediscovered by Bryant's library director, Mary Moroney and Bryant student, Jillian Emma, '09. Subsequently, the Providence Journal featured a heart warming story about these letters on the front page of the December 24, 2008 edition of the paper. The June 29, 2009 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education also ran a story on these letters. In addition, The Berkeley Electronic Press highlighted this collection in the Fall 2009 issue of the Digital Commons Subscriber Newsletter.
Judy Barrett Litoff , Bryant University Professor and world renowned expert on letter writing during World War II, is now using these letters and other Bryant artifacts from this time period such as IBM founder Thomas J. Watson's 1945 Bryant Commencement address to teach students about World War II using primary source materials. During the Spring of 2009 students working on these materials presented their projects at the 25th Annual Meeting of the National Social Science Association in Las Vegas and again at Bryant on April 23, 2009. The multimedia presentation given at Bryant is available here. Further information on this event can be found in an article entitled, "College of Letters," which was published in the Providence Journal on Tuesday April 28, 2009.
It is Dr. Litoff's intent to write a book about "Bryant College Goes to War" to salute Bryant's very own "greatest generation."
The list below is far from complete. Letters and transcriptions will be added as they are scanned and transcribed. We hope to have all letters online by early 2012. In addition, those who contributed to the war effort through their participation in the Bryant College Service Club will be included here as well.
© 2007. Bryant University. All Rights Reserved. For permission to use, copy, and/or distribute the materials in the Bryant College Goes to War Writing Project, please contact Bryant University at: .
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