In the Silver Spruce: Homecoming during WWII

Ravyn Cullor

The Silver Spruce served as the annual yearbook for Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts and attempted to capture the important moments and faces on campus.

Most aspects of American life were changed during World War II, and how the Silver Spruce covered Homecoming was among them.


The yearbook from 1940, a year before the United States entered the war, detailed the traditions around Homecoming at the time. A campus luncheon came before an afternoon football game. The auditorium of Old Main saw Homecoming themed skits, and Johnson Hall hosted a Homecoming dance. The honor alumnus in 1940 was Charles Shepardson, the namesake for the building that stands on campus today.

The 1941 Silver Spruce had similar coverage, outlining the decoration of fraternity and sorority houses and a dinner honoring the football coach at the time, Harry Hughes.

1942’s book saw military activities pass sports in the pages, and Homecoming coverage only addressed the gameplay.

In the 1943 Silver Spruce, the foreword specifically addressed the impact of the war on students, and a Homecoming spread didn’t appear in the yearbook again for the rest of the war.

Recruiting calls for football were suspended in 1942 and didn’t reappear until 1945.

Ravyn Cullor can be reached at or on Twitter @RCullor99.