Centennial 1909-2009, Historical Highlights (archived)
NPS Public Affairs Officer
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Just three years after Pearl Harbor and while the nation was still at war, Captain Herman Spanagel proposed Congressional legislation to give the Naval Postgraduate School degree-granting authority. Spanagel’s letter to the Chief of Naval Personnel on January 13, 1945 stated, “It is recommended that the necessary legislative action be initiated with a view toward formal recognition of the Postgraduate School as an institution of higher learning, and the acquisition of authority to award appropriate Masters’ and Doctors’ degrees to its graduates.” The Chief of Naval Personnel approved and the House and Senate subsequently passed H.R. 4412 and S. 1493, respectively, in November 1945. The landmark legislation was an important building block in the World War II transformation of NPS.