WWI special exhibit showcases history of Trinity soldiers


Photo by Michael Miller

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start the of World War I, and to commemorate this historic occasion, Trinity’s Special Collections has an exhibit displaying objects from Trinity during the time of the Great War. Several editions of the Mirage from the years of the war are just some of the books and pictures on display.

One of the books features an “Honor Roll” displaying the names of all the men from Trinity who served in the war alongside a dedication to “the noble men holding not their own lives dear.” The 1919 Mirage is dedicated to the men who served and also contains an image of a flag with many blue stars and six gold stars with the gold stars representing Trinity men who died in combat during the war. Although seven students were killed during the war, the seventh, who served with the Red Cross, died following the printing. Five of the seven men’s names are listed; the other two are unknown.

Andrea Lee and Benjamin Gomez, sophomores who visited the exhibit this week were impressed with the artifacts on display.

“I’m always surprised every day…of what Trinity has that I didn’t know about, whether it be like historical or insane facilities or whatever. It’s just crazy that Trinity has all this stuff,” Gomez said.

Pictures of the Students’ Army Training Corps (S.A.T.C.), a precursor to the Reserve Officers Training Corps (R.O.T.C.), are also featured in the exhibit.

“This was established by the government for students to receive military training while they continued with their studies,” said exhibit curator, Meredith Elsik.

One of these pictures shows two officers sent to Trinity to facilitate the Army Training Corps. All of these photographs can be dated back to the early 1900s. Neither the S.A.T.C. or the R.O.T.C. exist on campus today.

Gomez and Lee recommend other students go check out the exhibit to see the artifacts or to just hang out.

“It’s also a great place to study,” Lee said.

The exhibit is located on both the second and third floors of Coates Library. The second floor features books and pictures from Trinity’s involvement in World War I, while the the third floor has books about the general history of the war.

The exhibit will be on display through December and can be viewed during normal Special Collections hours, 1:15 to 5 p.m., Mon. to Fri., unless otherwise posted.

If interested, students can sign up to receive the Special Collections newsletter to find out what other events and exhibits are coming to the department. They are also open to suggestions for future exhibits. The newsletter, while still in the works, is planned to be released three times a year. Other informaiton on Special Collections can be found at the collection’s blog, http://archivestrinity.blogspot.com/.

Part of the exhibit was made possible by a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South.