The Campus in the Fifties

After World War II, the nation was inundated with returning servicemen, many of them young men, who were ready to begin a life that was put on hold by the war. Most of these young men had been fresh out of high school when they entered the Armed Forces. Many joined before they graduated. The U.S. Government offered incintives to Veterans who wanted to take a high school eqivalency test (GED) or who wanted to begin a college education. Pearl River College responded by building a building in 1947 for married veterans, offering the GED and offering vocational courses. The fifties were a time of remodeling the school's curriculum to include courses that offered training for job skills. Because of the influx of Veterans, enrollment began to rise, creating the building boom of the sixties.

1950's Photograph

Batson Hall in the 1950's. Batson Hall was built in 1912, the third of the original three buildings on campus. The three story hall served the campus from then until it was destroyed by Hurricane Camille.

1950's Photograph

This picture of Batson Hall was taken from in front of White Hall and appeared in a fifties annual.

1950's Photograph

Bilbo Hall was built in 1947 for the returning Veterans and their brides. It served as a married student's dorm until the seventies. The buiding was a prefabricated government building that was modified.

1950's Photograph

The Fine Arts Building (present day Hancock Hall) was built in 1953. This building contained the band hall, choral room and a drafting classroom.

1950's Photograph

This group of students stand in front of the Fine Arts building. The doors they are standing in front of led into the band hall. This wing is currently occupied by the museum.

1950's Photograph

Huff Hall continued to dominate the campus. In the fifties, it looked quite different with a porch on the south side of the building and a balcony on the front side.

1950's Photograph

This photo of Huff Hall was taken from a postcard in the late forties or early fifties.

1950's Photograph

Jacobs Hall, the second oldest building on campus, built in 1911 was called the High School building by the students and didn't become known as Jacobs Hall until after the high school classes were moved to the Poplarville Municipal Special Separate School District in 1960.

1950's Photograph

Jacobs Hall, technically a three story building, contained classrooms on the second and third floors with a library in a large hall on the third floor. The first floor contained the steam boiler that provided heat to Jacobs, Batson and Huff Halls. It was also occupied by the ROTC Armory and a classroom.

1950's Photograph

Jefferson Davis Hall (originally called the Science Building) was another government prefabricated building. It was assembled by PRC vocational students and then bricked. It was built about the same time as Bilbo.

1950's Photograph

Another photo of Jefferson Davis Hall (The Science Building).

1950's Photograph

As part of the move to provide more Vocational classes, the Metal Trades Building was constructed in 1957. This building currently serves as the Visual Arts building.

1950's Photograph

College Hall became Moody Hall in the forties and continued to serve as classroom space, however, with the construction of Shivers Gym in 1949, the gym/auditorium in Moody then became the school's auditorium, a purpose it still serves.

1950's Photograph

The Original Hancock Hall was located between Crosby Hall and Pearl River Hall. It served as a vocational building. Built around 1935 it served its lifetime exclusively as a vocational classroom building.

1950's Photograph

Pearl River Hall, built in 1933, served as the college freshman dorm, Freshman Barracks, and now serves as one of three men's dormitories.

1950's Photograph

Another photo of Pearl River Hall.

1950's Photograph

White Hall, built in 1928, served as a sophomore women's dormitory when this picture was taken. This building was remodeled in the eighties and the large balcony was removed to make way for a staircase and larger head resident's quarters. At one time (so some alumni tell us) it served as a hospital.

1950's Photograph

The President's house, built in 1923, served in that capacity until 1987 when the President's quarters were moved into the new President's House and this building became the home of the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development Foundation.

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