World War II blended into the Cold War, with the two superpowers threatening to destroy each other with their growing arsenals of nuclear weapons. In November 1947, President James Gee was inaugurated. Demobilized veterans returned from the war and seized the opportunity presented by the G.I. Bill to enroll in colleges throughout the country. East Texas State Teachers College experienced approximately a 100 percent increase in enrollment in the autumn of 1945, and the student population grew nearly 500 percent by the beginning of the 1950s.
Enrollment growth stimulated building construction on campus, especially housing facilities. In the decades following World War II, Binnion Hall, Education North Building, the Field House, and Memorial Stadium, as well as a new library, the Student Union Building and student housing were among the buildings constructed to accommodate continued enrollment growth. By 1965, enrollment equaled approximately 6,800 students.
The college’s physical expansion was accompanied by the introduction of new academic programs. In 1962, the Texas Commission on Higher Education authorized the college to offer doctoral degrees in English in the newly-created School of Education. This development also meant upgrading the quality of instruction by increasing the number of faculty members holding doctoral degrees.