August 22, 1942
Elizabeth MacLeod Culver ’35 was one of the seven women sworn in by Lieutenant Commander W. Pratt Thomas as the first officers of the new Women’s Reserve, United States Naval Reserves, known as the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). On August 3, the president of Wellesley, Mildred McAfee ’20 was inducted as a lieutenant commander to serve as the commander of the Women’s Reserve.
At her induction, she recalled interrupting her time at Vassar to volunteer as a war worker in World War I. “It was my task,” she said, “to paste clippings in scrapbooks. I remember distinctly that I pasted too rapidly to please some of my co-workers. I never did bring myself to be slow enough. The job lasted just one week and I went back to college.”
By the end of the year, eight members of the Class of 1942 had joined the WAVES. The New York Times