The Alumni Association hosted a gala for sailors stationed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, renting trolley cars to transport the men down Broad Street to Peirce. The Association’s journal would feature letters from the front, and offer a comprehensive list of Peirce graduates who were serving in the war. Mary Peirce, the school principal, organized the “Comfort Kit Club,” which sent care packages to wounded soldiers in France. Peirce students and alumni shipping off to Europe posed for a photograph in front of the school before leaving, and many of the men and women staying behind enrolled in special war courses which provided them with training for war-related government positions.
Former President Teddy Roosevelt addressed the Class of 1917, his speech emphasizing the need for civilian and military participation and preparation. When the war ended in 1918, Peirce School Director Louis B. Moffett went to Washington, D.C. to meet with congressional representatives and educators to discuss programs for returning soldiers. Hundreds of Peirce students and alumni would serve during the First World War, and many who returned would visit their alma mater to discuss their experiences.