Jessie Ruth Bobb,

Senior Chapel Talk,

Hanover College,


The typescript version of this speech is available at the Duggan Library Archives, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.). 

N.B. A few minor typographical errors were corrected for this digitized version of the speech.

Four years ago, in September 1941, 140 freshmen enrolled here at Hanover.  Today 8 of those 140 remain as seniors along with 3 others who have spent three or two years here as members of our class.

70 of those 78 freshmen men have been and are now serving in the army, navy, or the marines.  2 have made that supreme sacrifice and 1 other has been missing in action and a prisoner of war.

We can clearly remember how, soon after Pearl Harbor, Hanover fellows began to leave to join some branch of the service.  At first, some one left almost every week-end, then that one every week-end began to mount until at the beginning of our sophomore year only 30 fellows remained in our class.  Last year, as juniors, 2 remained, and now -- need I finish? But though the war has taken them from our presence, 3 men, originally of other classes, have secured enough credit in connection with military training to graduate under the banner of '45.  We welcome them in absentia, and hope furthermore that their presence on our class roll indicates that a number of our men, still in service, will appear later on your class rosters.

As these Hanover men from every class left the campus, we resolved in our hearts and minds to keep Hanover the same for them.  As they left saying "We'll be back soon," we remained here with faith and hope that they would.  And during the two and three years that they have been away we here have been tryng to preserve and keep alive the traditions of Hanover.

We have often before told you, freshmen and sophomores, that you do not really know Hanover as we knew it before the war.  And it is true that we have had to dispense with many activities.  But I am certain that we have not let you forget what we enjoyed here at Hanover before the war.  Perhaps we have been living too much in those memories.  At any rate, we hoe you know -- and we feel sure you do -- what these fellows have been thinking of and looking forward to while they have been scattered all over the world.  Soon, we all hope, these men will be returning to Hanover to resume their college work, and we seniors, are depending on you -- juniors, sophomores, freshmen and faculty -- to help them become adjusted to civilian and college life once again.

We are leaving you to the task of making Hanover even bigger and better than it was before the war.  And we know you will capably fulfill that trust.

To you then, we say, help the fellows returning -- those of the class of '45 along with those of the classes before and after -- to put into reality the Hanover which they have been dreaming of and to which they have been longing to return.  The Hanover which they know can withstand war and which will come out from its horror and grief, nobly and proudly.  I am sure this refrain has been in their thoughts as it is in ours: --

"Hanover's sons victorious, Hanover's daughters too
Join in the song of loyalty, And pledge their faith anew.
Undaunted on high our colors fly, The crimson and the blue
We rejoice in the fame of her glorious name
Here's to Hanover; we're for you."

-Jessie Ruth Bobb

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