Category Archives: Throwback Thursday

#ThrowbackThursday: Marriage, Kids, 8 a.m. Class

Life at 19 University Place, one of the University residences for married students, in 1946. (PAW Archives, Feb. 22, 1946)

Life at 19 University Place, one of the University residences for married students, in 1946. (PAW Archives, Feb. 22, 1946)

Many Princeton students who served in World War II returned to the University not only as veterans, but also as husbands and fathers. The influx of married students in the postwar era put a big strain on campus housing.

“For better or for worse, all married couples have a roof over their heads,” PAW reported in February 1946. However, finding adequate accommodations for all 77 families was not an easy task. The University had to locate places in town for some of the married students and their families.

The living situation within these residences was by no means luxurious. There was a limited space for cooking, which required families to share kitchens, sometimes in shifts and sometimes in a free-for-all. The lack of space also afforded little privacy to the newlyweds, but they didn’t seem to mind. As one veteran reported, “Privacy is something this generation doesn’t know anything about.”

This campus climate stands as quite a contrast to the present. Because of the relatively small number of married couples and families at Princeton today, the modern-style Spelman Halls suffice in housing married couples on campus. And, of course, it’s not just the husbands who can be students anymore!