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Washburn University seeks donations for new veterans memorial

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 10:52 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Washburn University is launching a fundraising challenge to build a new veterans memorial on campus.

President, Jerry Farley, announced the project Monday morning and said he and his wife will pledge $50,000 to match donations.

“Washburn has a long history of both military service and honoring those who served,” Farley said. “We are so proud of our veteran alumni, so when the subject of updating our veterans memorial came up, Susan and I wanted to make our personal contribution to ensuring they have a site and a memorial commensurate with their sacrifice.”

The new veterans memorial will replace and expand on the existing monument near Morgan Hall.

It will feature a bronze fallen soldier sculpture telling the story of Washburn University’s military veterans and a seven-foot-tall black granite stone with all 47 names of those who served and died in Vietnam. It will be joined by seven more stones that commemorate the U.S. military’s six branches and one recognizing the nurses who also served in war.

The site will also feature three flagpoles flying the American, Kansas, and POW/MIA flags.

The university said the existing plaque at the site on campus will be retired to Topeka Cemetery.

Farley was a drill sergeant and drill sergeant instructor in the U.S. Army. He asks alumni and friends of Washburn to join him in making this expanded and updated memorial a reality.

“Washburn’s veteran community is incredibly strong, and we have a great campus culture and history of honoring military service and sacrifice,” Washburn military transitions coordinator Chris Bowers said. “There has been a broad push to refurbish this site to give our campus a centerpiece commemorating all of Washburn’s veterans, with the visibility, solemnity, and pride they deserve.”

More information about the veterans memorial and how to make a donation can be found here.

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