Patriotism on Campus

[Entrance into war marked with parade]

[Procopians celebrate the anniversary of the US entering the war], Studentsky Listy 1918 (Source: Benedictine University Archives).

Procopians & Patriots

Patriotism ran high during the war years at St. Procopius College, as evident in the Studentsky Listy, the monthly student newspaper. The paper published many patriotic poems, speeches, and notes from alumni.   

The campus marked the beginning of the United States' involvement in the war with a parade and a celebration.


[Poem "America" by J. W. Riley]

[Patriotic poem "America" by J.W. Riley], Studentsky Listy, February 1918 (Source: Benedictine University Archives).

Written by James Whitcomb Riley in 1902, shortly after the assassination of President McKinley, this poem was set to music written by John Phillip Sousa in 1914. It is inscribed on the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Indianapolis. (6)


["Our War Aims" speech by President Wilson]

[Excerpt from a speech given by President Woodrow Wilson], Studentsky Listy, February 1918 (Source: Benedictine University Archives).

The Studentsky Listy reprinted a part of the speech given by President Wilson to Congress on January 8, 1918. This speech later became known as his "14 Points" speech as it spelled out 14 objectives of the war. Its inclusion in the Studentsky Listy demonstrated the campus's patriotism and loyalty to the United States.


[Neuzil gives a patriotic speech]

[Rev. Neuzil gave a speech during a patriotic assembly] Studentsky Listy, March 1918 (Source: Benedictine University Archives).

On the evening of Febrary 21st, 1918, the Very Rev. Procopius Neuzil, OSB, gave "an inspiring patriotic lecture...(which) was frequently interrupted by long applause." This speech was given after the United States had been part of the war effort for about a year. Procopians were dealing with alumni fighting overseas, food conservation, military drills on campus, and the overall uncertainty inevitably brought by war.

The article goes on to say "Fr. Francis' artistic touch reached its triumph in the slide picturing our College draped deftly in the folds of the Red, White and Blue. Tho shown frequently, this picture elicts thunderous applause every time." Procopians enthusiastically backed the war effort.

[Ad for war savings stamps]

[Ad for War savings stamps and bonds], Studentsky Listy, December 1918 (Source: Benedictine University Archives).

Raising money for the war was a serious concern, achieved partly through the sale of war bonds. This full-page ad appeared in the December 1918 edition of the Studentsky Listy

[Training exercises at SPC]

[Military training exercises at SPC] Studentsky Listy, May 1918 (Source: Benedictine University Archives)

Many students participated in training exercises on the grounds of the campus. The paper frequently used "The Kaiser" to refer to Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.  He was often the butt of jokes. (7)


[News of peace]

[News of the end of the war reaches SPC] Studentsky Listy, December 1918 (Source: Benedictine University Archives).

Rumors of the war's ending preceded the actual event, as can be seen in this excerpt. The students' noisy celebration was joined by many others, worldwide.


[Armistice Day, 1918]<br />

Armistice Day parade (Source: Benedictine University Archives).

St. Procopius College students joined in a parade celebrating the end of the war. This photo shows a group of students in the parade holding a school banner. Fighting ceased on November 11, 1918. Known as "the eleventh hour of the eleventh month of the eleventh day," it was a day met with much rejoicing.