Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 3, Page 14
Spring 1992
Tales Out of School

     Former U.S. Sen. J. Caleb Boggs entered the University of
Delaware in 1927. He hadn't expected to attend college, he says,
because "I had made no plans, and didn't have any money." But fellow
members of the Delaware National Guard Rifle Team, who were graduates
of the University, made young Boggs "promise to go see the dean."
     Before long, Boggs found himself on the University's campus. He
remembers the University as a place where pretensions didn't exist in
his small class of 67 men. "It was a great place to be, especially for
a young country boy who didn't have any money, but it didn't make any
difference, people liked you . . . ."
     His fellow students really liked Boggs. He remembers being
unanimously elected Student Council president, lettering in two sports
(baseball and football) and even opening a popular student hang-out on
Main Street. He says he liked "being involved. I enjoyed the
fellowship of it."
     He also remembers when the Women's College was separate from
Delaware College and located at one end of the campus. The only
building the women and the men shared was the library, which was also
divided by gender and a night guard. He says, "If a man stuck his head
on the Women's College side of the library, the night guard would have
him arrested. He didn't even let the men look at the Women's College
after dark."
     Boggs recalls that women weren't allowed to smoke on the college
campus. One of the places they were able to sneak a smoke was Boggs'
restaurant, which he opened his freshman year next to Rhodes' Drug
     But the restaurant didn't last very long, because, as Boggs
recalls, "The Dean called me in about mid-year's time, looked me
square in the eye and told me that I had to be a student or a
restaurant man. I had to make up my mind. I couldn't do both. So, of
course, I said I'd sell my restaurant, which I did right away."
     Boggs graduated in 1931, and married in December of that same
year. His wife of 60 years, Elizabeth, died in April. Memories of the
University of Delaware followed Boggs through military service in
World War II, through three terms in the U.S. House of
Representatives, two terms as governor of Delaware and two terms in
the United States Senate. He loved his political career, which he
describes as "hard work." "You worked 24 hours a day," he says.
     Boggs, however, calls his years at the University of Delaware
"about the best four years of my life. I enjoyed every minute of it."

     J. Caleb Boggs was born in 1909 in Cheswold, Del. He received a
law degree from Georgetown University Law School in 1937, and he later
served in the Sixth Armored Division in Europe, retiring from active
service in 1946 with the rank of colonel. He was Delaware's
representative from 1947-53, governor from 1953-1961 and senator from
1961-73. Classmates can write to Boggs in care of Foxwood Manor, 1912
Marsh Rd., Wilmington, DE 19810.