Hastings College Campus Historic District

In 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s
Readjustment Act, known as the G.I. Bill of Rights. This ushered in
sweeping changes to America’s colleges and universities by paying
for the tuition of World War II veterans and their spouses. With higher
education more accessible, college enrollment nearly doubled nationwide. Hastings College campus’s physical development is representative of its postwar increase in enrollment.

At Hastings College, enrollment doubled from 524 students in 1943 to 1,138 in 1946. Roughly half of students enrolled in 1946 were using the G.I. Bill. Such a large increase in the student population required a building campaign that expanded or modified much of the prewar campus fabric. Wooden structures were moved in from the nearby Naval Ammunition Depot to temporarily accommodate the increased enrollment. Eventually these were replaced by new permanent buildings. A number of buildings that make up the college’s modern configuration were built as a direct response to the effects of the G.I. Bill, including the French Memorial Chapel in 1948, Weyer Hall in 1950, and Fuhr Hall in 1956.