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100 years ago in Spokane: Gonzaga turns into military training school

Gonzaga University, in its new wartime role as a military training school, "impressively mustered into the service of their country” 350 students, The Spokesman-Review reported on Oct. 2, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Gonzaga University, in its new wartime role as a military training school, "impressively mustered into the service of their country” 350 students, The Spokesman-Review reported on Oct. 2, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)
The Spokesman-Review

Gonzaga University, in its new wartime role as a military training school, “impressively mustered into the service of their country” 350 students.

About 100 of them were enrolled in the military automobile school, and the other 250 were in the officers’ training school and the high school military vocational class.

A message from President Woodrow Wilson was read by Gonzaga’s commanding officer: “The spirit that is revealed and the manner in which America has responded to the call is indomitable. I have no doubt that you, too, will use your utmost strength to maintain that spirit and to carry it forward to the final victory that will certainly be ours.”

A message was also read from the acting Secretary of War, Benedict Crowell: “As college students, you are accustomed to contests of physical force. You are familiar with the tedious training and self-sacrificing discipline that are required to develop a team that can win the game. You know that the contest is won by teamwork, push and enthusiastic cooperation with one another. In the military struggle in which you are about to enter, the same conditions prevail.”

Another speaker addressed his remarks to the military auto school, in a speech titled, “The Fighting Auto Mechanic.”

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