“My memories, my images, ever so vivid even today, probably are similar to yours, rooted in the naiveté of our age”, spoke Earle Bowden from the class of 1951.
Earle Bowden is a man of some 8,400 post World War II veterans who were eager to get a degree after the war and GI bill was passed. Gainesville, the only school that would accept males at the time wouldn’t allow the large amount of applicants, so a compromise was made with the Florida State College of Women and the University of Florida.
Suddenly, men were living in barracks on Dale Mabry Field where the Air Corps trained during the war. They were all full of excitement to be a part of history and the start of Florida State tradition.
Many changes were to be made once the men of Tallahassee stepped on campus. From 1943 on, FSCW was becoming unofficially coeducational, with men soldiers filling campus wearing combat boots and field jackets sharing classrooms with women students in bobby socks and skirts.
On May 15, 1947, the bill establishing Florida State University was passed.
The men quickly began forming fraternities to match the women Greeks, and it wasn’t long before they came up with the right name for the school, the Seminoles.
For these men Dale Mabry Field would not be a ghost, it would be transformed. When Earle Bowden visits Tallahassee in the fall, he is reminded of the time that wasn’t so long ago, a time when the honored women’s college found its destiny as the Florida State University Seminoles. This generation that helped build the FSU tradition was special, and their stories can impact us if we open our eyes to them.
COMMENTS: Who is Earl Bowden? What did he do during WW2? You don't need to tell the history of this area, you need to write a new untold story.