Navy WAVES - Photo #13 - Hunter College, Bronx NY

Navy photograph of the Bronx NY campus of Hunter College, which was turned over to the Navy in February 1943 to serve as the "U.S. Naval Training School (WR) The Bronx NY" where, until the end of the War, all WAVES had their Basic Training. I include Hunter in this gallery not because my mother was there (although she would have been if she had enlisted a few months later) but because it's within walking distance of my Bronx apartment, and because it's a New Deal creation, and because (as Lehman College) my ex-mother-in-law and ex-sister-in-law got their degrees there, and now my daughter is working towards a degree there too. Hunter College itself moved to Manhattan in 1968. Today's Lehman campus still has the same magnificent original gothic-style buildings shown in the photos.

The "WR" in the Navy training school name stands for Women's Reserve. Until 1948 women were not allowed to be regular members of the US armed forces on equal status with men, thus during WWII they were "Reserve" even though they were full-time and active-duty and they received the same salaries and promotion opportunities as men.

During the War, Hunter students (all women) were sent to Hunter's Manhattan campus, reachable by subway. Hunter's Bronx campus reopened in 1947 — after a brief interlude as temporary home of the newly-formed United Nations in 1946 — as a 2-year women's college with a new 4-year division for returning veterans. Hunter became coeducational in 1951, and in 1968 Hunter's Bronx campus became Lehman College of the City University of New York and Hunter's Manhattan campus became a four-year college, also in the City University system. One of its buildings is Roosevelt House, former home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

The image is from a postcard booklet given out to the WAVES trainees. The Music Building is at far right with Gillet Hall to its left; the Gym lower left.