Lyman Jackson was dean of agriculture at Ohio State University prior to arriving in Brookings. He became president just before the United States entered World War II. The impact of the war on the college was great, with decreased enrollment and the use of college buildings as barracks, in addition to rationing. Despite those setbacks, Jackson was successful in taking the school through that difficult time and even succeeded in starting some new programs. One program Jackson established was the Junior College Division. This plan separated the freshman and sophomore students from the upper-class students and instituted student advising, and established rules and regulations for overseeing the student body. Jackson also revamped the School of Agriculture to help it run more efficiently. The hardest work of his term, however, was in preparing the college for the return of the veterans and the many students who had left to aid in the war efforts, and especially with the administering of the GI Bill, a benefit that affected so much of the work performed over the next decades.