The Idea and the Ideal Return
In the spring of 1945, the continuing demobilization of the armed forces and the lessening draft needs made it evident that student enrollment at the University would increase by the thousands for the fall semester. In view of that, a few Nabors concluded that it would be advantageous to reopen Nabor House in the fall of 1945.
Nabor House Reopens
There were several men on campus who were willing to assume the task of reorganizing Nabor House. Three of them were Nabors. The others were good Nabor material, so they were given active membership. They were Allan G. Mueller, '45; John F. Rundquist, '46; H. Leroy Schilt, '47; and Kenneth N. Wright, '45. They, with Gene Becker, an active member already on campus, and Robert E. Drake, '46 1/2, a returning veteran, comprised the active group in the house during the fall semester of 1945. These men worked together enthusiastically and energetically to ready the house for opening and in selecting eight pledges.
Once the semester started, the group functioned much the same as past groups had. Considerable exterior work on the building was needed, including painting and re-roofing, but the work was delayed until more men were available to help. The house bill of $30 a month covered expenditures.
When school opened in the spring semester of 1946, 12 actives, five pledges, one boarder, and a graduate adviser were living in the house. Five of the 12 actives were veterans of the war. This group continued on with the efforts started the prior semester to restore the organization to its prewar level and to upgrade the physical structure.
Some Financial Changes
It was necessary to make some slight changes in the mortgage to conform with banking regulations because Busey Bank had become a national bank. The deficit on the original loan was refinanced for a 10-year period, the limit set for bank loans on real estate, and the monthly mortgage payment was increased to $50 as of Jan. 1, 1946.
At the start of the fall semester, cash on hand was $225 and as of Jan. 15, cash on hand was up to $714. Additionally, the treasurer had a $100 war bond available from a former housing group on campus that did not reactivate after the war. Anticipated uses of any surplus that might remain including repairs on the house, reduction of the balance of $3,525 on the mortgage, and reduction of the $2,200 outstanding balance on personal notes. To help ease the payment on indebtedness, the alums called a special meeting June 30, 1946, to consider renewing the mortgage. The decision was to renew it effective June 15 in the amount of $4,700 at five percent interest and with $50 monthly payments.
Alums Organize Temporarily
At the same meeting, the alums reorganized temporarily to facilitate and manage the activities and affairs of Nabor House Fraternity and help the active Chapter as it continued its reestablishment. Officers were chosen to serve until the next Annual Meeting of the Fraternity. Those elected were J. Robert Harris, President; John F. Rundquist, Vice President; Bonard S. Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer; and Paul L. Buchanan and Allan G. Mueller, Directors. Those officers worked to reestablish many of the prewar practices and philosophies within the active Chapter and to move both the active and alumni groups forward in planning for the future.
Bob Harris Recognized
The dedicated, untiring efforts of Bob Harris to keep Nabor House alive during the war were well known and many individuals had thanked him in their own ways. However, during the Fourth Annual Meeting, the Fraternity as a whole recognized him with this resolution:
WHEREAS, success, condition and spiritual organization of Nabor House Fraternity was kept intact throughout the war period and given excellent sendoff upon the termination of war, due in a great measure to the splendid efforts and work of Brother Bob Harris.
The Fall of 1946
More discharged veterans returned for the fall semester of 1946. Space for them in the house was not a problem because several men had graduated the previous spring. Ten new pledges joined nine actives and the graduate adviser in the house. The semester moved smoothly and the actives and alums worked together closely.
To hold down food costs, the men in the house brought meat and other produced from their farms. In fact, they made money on the pork they brought. By selling the surplus lard to other houses, they nearly paid for the meat. Without freezer storage space, the amount of meat that could be handled at one time was limited. So in the fall of 1946, the active chapter purchases a Bishop deep freeze unit. The cost of $536 was a sizable investment, but over time it paid for itself many times in lower food costs.
By the time the Fourth Annual Meeting came around on Oct. 19, 1946, enthusiasm was high and momentum was building to define the roles and responsibilities of the Fraternity and the Chapter. At the meeting, a revised constitution that was much more comprehensive than the previous one was adopted. It called for incorporation of the Chapter, the Fraternity's Board of Directors to have more power in running the day-to-day business of the Fraternity, and the Fraternity to own the house and rent it to the Chapter. Steps were taken to establish an on-going procedure of oversight and maintenance of the property by establishing a building committee consisting of both alums and actives. Also at this meeting, the members voted to issue all past, present, and future members a certificate of membership.