Growing pains: Hank Chamberlin and the Arkansas A&M forestry program, 1946-1957
Almost immediately after he started in the fall of 1945, Henry H. "Hank" Chamberlin faced many challenges in getting the two-year applied forestry program at Arkansas A&M College (AA&M) up and running. As the newly hired director of the one-man
department, Chamberlin needed to build this program with virtually no financial resources, a flawed curriculum, very limited office and instructional space, and no other dedicated faculty. Perhaps it was a good thing that only three students had enrolled in the forestry program during its first term. These challenges, daunting as they were, did not seem to trouble the eager young director—bigger plans were in the works. Chamberlin and AA&M anticipated growth in the new forestry program as the veterans of World War II returned home and used their new-found opportunities under the G.I. Bill. This expansion came quickly—in the fall semester of 1946, five more enrolled, followed by another 49 veterans in January of 1947, bringing the program’s enrollment up to 57 in its first year.