End of an Era
“Wednesday will be just another day to me -- not the anticipated joys of a downtown excursion. Sunday will not mean a concert and ice cream for dinner. January will not bring qualms about final exams, nor will February bring the excitement of the Frantics rehearsals.”
There is no mistaking the impact Chevy Chase Junior College had on this girl’s life, and the lives of students at the school. So when notices were sent to students, informing them that Chevy Chase would not open in the fall of 1950, many girls were surprised and confused. In August 1950, just before the start of a new school year, President Frances Brown announced that Chevy Chase Junior College would not reopen. According to The Washington Post, Miss Brown said the Board of Trustees voted to close the school for the following reasons:
“...low enrollment, rising costs, and the uncertainty of the international situation.”
In a brochure titled "My Two Years at Chevy Chase," produced not long before the school closed, many recent graduates detailed their experiences at the school, how their time there prepared them for their future, and the meaning it still held in their lives. Their happy memories of their "two years" at Chevy Chase, printed next to their smiling graduation photos, is a strong contrast with the financial situation faced by administrators at the end of the 1950 school year. Click here to view a PDF of the brochure.
But these were not the foremost concerns of the students who were looking forward to returning in the fall of 1950. They were unprepared for the abrupt closure, and particularly the inability to remain in contact with their friends. Joan Russell remembered,
“The great loss when Chevy closed was that suddenly we all lost all contact with friends. Most of us were at that point of either applying to another college or planning a wedding. And now…with last names all changed, where are any of those friends?”