Monday, September 22, 2014

Found in the Archives: Strategic Air Command Certificate

Sister Alberta Huber (President of St. Catherine University 1964-1979) with Minneapolis/St. Paul Civic Leaders, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, 1973.
For two days in August 1973 Saint Catherine’s seventh president, Sister Alberta Huber, joined civic leaders from Minneapolis and St. Paul for a tour of the headquarters of Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

Active from 1946 to 1992, SAC was the United States Air Force’s long-range strike force, responsible for bombing operations during the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Gulf War, and is most well-known for its role in the Cold War. Its mission, included in a packet of information about SAC given to the civilian visitors, recalls the days when the idea of a nuclear deterrent as defense was still popular:

In peacetime the mission of SAC is to maintain a force capable of preventing nuclear war, while in wartime the mission is to destroy the enemy’s war-making capability.

The itinerary for Huber’s tour included a tour of the Underground Command Post, a tour of the Strategic Aerospace Museum, and briefings on topics such as “The Human Element” and “Soviet Strategic Posture.” Among the documents that Huber saved from her trip is a rather peculiar Certificate of Degree for a Bachelor of SACology, with language that is very reminiscent of its time:

The text is as follows:
Sister Alberta Huber

Having been thoroughly briefed, indoctrinated, rebriefed, instructed and again rebriefed on the mysteries of aerospace in general, and the Strategic Air Command in particular, and having ventured into the subterranean depth of the Free World’s citadel of aerospace power, is hereby awarded the Degree of

(Bachelor of SACology)

and as such is entitled, authorized and enjoined to share her profound knowledge and enthusiasm with her fellowman, whenever and wherever the slightest opportunity to do so should arise.
 Given under my hand this 23rd day of August 1973 at Offutt AFB, Nebraska.


Commander in Chief

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