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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois in the Cold War Era 1945-1975: Student Life during the Cold War Era

Student Life during the Cold War Era

Student Life During the Cold War Era

A mass gathering of students on the Quad, circa 1970

After the end of World War II student life at the University of Illinois and similar public institutions around the country was radically transformed.  The G.I. Bill not only provided individual opportunities for veterans of the war, but it also inaugurated a new ethos for higher education consisting of expanded access to the next generation of college students.  As the campus began to represent a slightly broader cross-section of the state and national population, students became even more enmeshed in the conflicts of the day over politics, race, sexuality and gender.