An alum contacted me recently to see if I could find a copy of one of Wofford’s “PHT” diplomas. He couldn’t find his wife’s diploma.
“PHT,” you ask? What kind of degree is that?
It stands for “putting hubby through” – and it only makes sense in a certain era, when the student body was all male and, in the aftermath of World War II, full of veterans. Many students in the ten or fifteen years after the war were married, and the campus provided married student apartments. I believe Spartanburg had something of a housing shortage right after the war.
The wives of the Wofford students formed a community of their own. In 1946, with the help of the wives of some of the faculty members, the wives of the students formed the Wofford Dames. They often took on service projects, and they raised funds for a special loan fund for married students.
Even as late as the early 1960s, a large enough group of married students were on campus that an honorary degree of “PHT” was still being given. One can see the signatures of the president of the college, the dean of students, and the president of the student body on the certificate.
Oh yes, the question from the alum: A few hours later, he called back and said he and his wife had found theirs, stuck inside the yearbook. He sent me this copy – since I had never seen one of them.
I’d be happy to hear any memories of alums who were married while they were studying at Wofford, or any memories from wives of students about what it was like to live on campus.