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University of Houston. Veterans Village | University of Houston Libraries

Name: University of Houston. Veterans Village

Historical Note:

The University of Houston played an important part in the United States' efforts during the Second World War. Among its many contributions, the institution housed the first Naval School established in a college, training more than five thousand navy personnel and several hundred Army and Navy pilots. Following the war, many of the nations servicemen and women returned to colleges and universities to take advantage of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 - better known as the GI Bill of Rights. Under the GI Bill, veterans received up to $500 a year from the government to cover tuition and fees as well as a monthly stipend.

Just as the University of Houston contributed to the war effort, following the war it contributed to the education of thousands of returning veterans. Many UH students used the GI Bill to further training obtained in the military, learn a vocational trade, or pursue college degrees. By 1945, a steady influx of veterans created a shortage in student housing. The Board of Regents realized the university needed more housing and on November 9, 1945 allotted $194,000 for temporary quarters. A week later UH accepted a gift of three hundred trailers. The converted navy barracks and the trailers formed a nucleus of ex-servicemen's housing known as the Veterans Village. Rent ranged from $30 to $37.50 a month.

The Veterans Village became a community in itself, complete with a constitution, governing council, regular newsletter, and nursery school. A veteran's club also formed on campus and drew many of its members from those living in the Village. The Veterans Club and Veterans' Council concerned themselves with veterans rights and even petitioned Congress for an investigation into local bureau of veterans affairs in late 1945 and early 1946 when numerous UH students did not receive their disbursements. In 1956, due to deteriorating conditions, the last trailer was removed as the Veterans Village yielded to the expanding campus.

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