The European Conflict, 1914–1917
The war came suddenly in the summer of 1914.
On June 18, Hobart College held its eighty-ninth commencement in the Smith Opera House. Ten days later, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo.
By the time students returned to campus in the fall, there had already been two million casualties and the nations of Europe were settling into the stalemate of trench warfare.
The suddeness of the escalation caught many Americans in Europe, including several professors from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.