Code Breakers at MHC
A few specially selected students learned how to crack code during WWII. Professor Roger Holmes taught legendary cryptography courses under the strictest secrecy, demanding that students study behind closed doors. Approved by a faculty unaware of the subject matter, the courses did not exist to the outside world and never appeared in the College catalog. Students who completed the courses were sent directly to Washington, where some went on to help break Japanese code just before the June 1942 Battle of Midway.
Patricia Ryan Leopold ’43 remembers learning that she was selected to take one such secret cryptanalysis course, hearing about it through “markers in [her] post box, to be in a certain building at a certain time, early in the morning and not to tell anybody.” Leopold was also among forty students in her graduating class sworn into the Navy after mastering cryptanalysis at MHC.
» Read the feature article, “Resiliency in Wartime,” from the winter 2014 Alumnae Quarterly.
January 15, 2014