Dean of Men Thomas Arkle Clark took active interest in the approximate 3,5000 students and University alumni enlisted in the military during World War I from 1917-1919. Through regular correspondence with each serviceman, he kept meticulous records of their activities and updated them on the activities of the University.
On Christmas Day in 1918, Carleton M. Tower wrote to Dean Clark from France:
This is Christmas day. But one would never suspect it by looking around here. We wear rubber boots when we walk around outside, for everywhere there is mud, “beaucoup” mud! It has rained constantly for several days, and it is cold. With the unpleasant weather and the absolute lack of any sort of amusement, this holiday threatens to be somewhat of a bore. We do our best to pretend it is not an ordinary day, but it is a difficult task.
Barring irregular mail service, Carleton Tower, along with thousands of other servicemen, received the above Christmas Greeting from Dean Clark by Christmas Day featuring Altgeld Hall, constructed in 1896-97 and used as the University Library until 1927.
Best wishes to you this winter holiday from the Student Life & Culture Archives!