The college welcomed 96 non-resident World War II veteran students, 435 freshmen from 39 states and nine foreign countries and incoming President Sarah Gibson Blanding at the 82nd Fall Convocation. Associate Professor of English Richard A. E. Brooks, returning from teaching GIs at the United States Army University in Biarritz, France, spoke of his experiences, and Miss Blanding urged the veterans and the 1,142 resident students to "make of your mental equipment the best that can be made of it.... The crisis through which the world is passing will be upon us for many years to come. The time you spend at Vassar is a period of preparatiion for meeting the hard and knotty problems for which you and the members of your generation will be ultimately responsible.

The veterans began their studies under the former four-year plan, as the three-year option adopted for wartime was ended.