Patriotic fervor was very high at the conclusion of WWI. Here’s a review of how the Fighting Irish performed during this period…
A Man's School
(From the Southern, Industrial and Lumber Review August 31, 1918.)
Perhaps never before in the history of this country has the need for schools where boys are trained early in their lives for the duties of men become more acute than now. Perhaps never before has the value of athletic training to the collegian had a better demonstration than the record of the last year when able-bodied youth, fully developed, mentally and physically, have been flocking to the colors to offer up their all for the nation. This free-will offering of life all over this broad land has been so universal that even in the first stages of our great crisis it is ceasing to excite comment. The courage and fealty of our boys is universal. Nevertheless it is well to note and to dwell upon, if need be,- in the interest of the proper training of the boys who will reach maturity in the near future, that our young athletes of the last decade have faced the situation fully equipped to meet the duties of the hour. Every man notes, perhaps, with more particularity the achievements of his own Alma Mater or that of his sons. Two editors of this journal, who have been serving their country practically since April, 1917, are graduates of Notre Dame University at South Bend, Indiana, of the class of 1914. Therefore we have been watching the course of events in that student body. When the United States went into the war, Notre Dame had about fourteen hundred students. Of these only about seven hundred were college students, the others being "preps," "minims," and seminarians. Of these seven hundred above high school standing about four hundred were of military age. Of these four hundred, 293, or over seventy per cent, volunteered. Since that time hundreds more have "gone in", but it has been impossible to keep track of them. One department of the big school however, the department of journalism—may be taken as typical. When the United States went into the war, this department had sixty students. When school reopened in September the department had twenty-five, and of these only twelve were survivors from former classes—the others were in the service.
Every graduate of this department, with the possible exception of two who have not been heard from, is in the service, and every one of them volunteered. In 1917, this department graduated twelve: in 191S, it graduated only two. That shows how the 1917 juniors enlisted. The graduates of 1917 were nearly all in khaki when they received their diplomas. The two graduates of 1918 were not present to receive theirs; they were in camp. Another fact is illustrative. Every Notre Dame monogram man for the years '14, '15 and 16 is in the service. Of course nearly all the monogram men of subsequent years are serving too, but these earlier men went in, nearly all of them, before there, was any conscription. The last soldier-death to grieve South' Bend, the University's town, was that of Lieut. Arnold McInerny, guard on last year's Notre Dame eleven. When a call was issued for chaplains, twentv-five priest-professors of Notre Dame offered their services at once. They were not all accepted then, only eight of them were allowed to go, but the others stand ready and anxious. Even the little fellows and the high school boys below military age have done their part. They have furnished one complete ambulance outfit; they have contributed about five thousand books and countless periodicals for the soldiers' reading, and they have taken an active and generous part in every " drive" that has been made for patriotic purposes. When the University reopens in September hundreds of its students will be here as soldiers; for Notre Dame has offered itself to the government, and its services have been accepted. It is one of the universities where boys of eighteen can study military of one particular, branch, and fit themselves for some particular need of the United States military establishment, under joint supervision of Notre Dame and Uncle Sam. Yes, N. D. is a man's school.