After World War II, an influx of returning veterans pursued their education at UChicago with support from the GI Bill. To meet the growing demand, the University erected prefabricated houses on campus

Support for veterans and military-connected students, faculty, and staff advances the University’s core values. The University of Chicago is committed to recruiting and retaining exceptional students, faculty, and staff with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and veterans have been an important part of this picture since the University’s inception. 

Historical Alumni Veterans

The University of Chicago has a strong legacy of accomplished alumni veterans, including:

  • Benjamin O. Davis, X’32, who was the first African American general in the US Air Force
  • Barbara Bishop, AM’48, who was the fourth director of Women’s Marines
  • John W. Rogers, Sr., JD’48, who was one of the original 24 Tuskegee Airmen

After World War II, returning veterans and their spouses crowded campus as they pursued their education with support from the GI Bill. In 1946, to meet growing demand for housing, the University used converted barracks to erect 190 temporary houses (known as “prefabs”) for married students along the Midway and next to Burton-Judson Courts, where the Laird Bell Law Quadrangle now stands.

Notable Staff and Faculty Veterans

Veterans have also contributed to the University as senior leaders and faculty, including:

  • Albert Michelson, who was professor and head of the Department of Physics (1892–1931), the first US scientist to win a Nobel Prize, and served in the US Navy
  • Harry Pratt Judson, who was president of the University (1907–23) and served in the New York National Guard
  • Harold H. Swift, who was chairman of the board of trustees (1922–49), who served in the US Army
  • Robert Maynard Hutchins, who was president (1929–45) and chancellor (1945–51) of the University and served in the US Army
  • Mary Jo Shelly, who was chair of the Department of Physical Education (Women’s Division), served in the US Air Force, and was also among the first woman officers in the US Navy