2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Uncommon Bond: The 1946 to 1948 Kirksville State Teachers College Championship Basketball Teams
Eric M. Balsman♦
Dr. Julie Lochbaum , Dr. Torbj√∂rn Wandel , and Dr. Jeff Gall, Faculty Mentors

The 1946 to 1948 Kirksville State Teachers College (present day Truman State University) basketball team formed an uncommon bond on their way to becoming one of the most successful athletic teams in school history. Treating this as a case study of the GI Bills influence on higher education, the researcher interviewed one remaining living player and two players spouses. Based on the work of subject matter experts like Michael J. Bennett and Donald S. Andrews, the role of World War II veterans on this team was compared to that of other basketball teams from the era. This study finds that the Kirksville State Teachers College Bulldog basketball team members were not unique in their overall academic achievement and their success on the basketball court. However, they were unique in the campus culture that they created, and the legend they have sustained to the present day.

Keywords: GI Bill, Basketball, Education, World War II, Veterans, College Athletics, Campus Dynamics, Kirksville


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 208-2
Location: VH 1324
Time: 9:45

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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