Petitions and Conflicts

In a symbol of solidarity, the faculty of UNL stood with Boucher in urging students to stay in school and remaining out of the conflict in Europe. As events progressed, conflicting feelings over what should be done in Europe came to a head. In 1941 a group of faculty led by professor of English Thomas Raysor and professor of history Glenn Gray sent around a petition that argued against the neutrality policy and urged aid to England. It was signed by 186 faculty members, demonstrating for the world that the faculty of UNL were not, in fact, solidified against the war.  Meanwhile, the World War demanded many changes and sacrifices; for the duration, the courses and degree requirements for students changed wildly. Accelerated programs were offered for those entering the medical field. New courses in aircraft and mechanics were offered to contribute to the war effort. These developments did not come easily; Boucher resisted the quarter system that was proposed by the military for as long as possible. Students, faculty, and Congress alike demanded the change. In fact, it was a faculty group that offered the uses of Love Library to house cadets behind Boucher’s back. The faculty appeared to be much more enthusiastic about the war than their leader.