The Alumni Veteran's Tribute Memorial dedication to be held Nov. 11.
The Alumni Veteran's Tribute Memorial dedication to be held Nov. 11.

Miami honors alumni who served in the military with new tribute memorial

By Kristal Humphrey, university news and communications

Miami University has begun prepping a site between Wells Hall and the Campus Avenue Building to construct its Alumni Veterans Tribute Memorial. The memorial will honor alumni who have served and are currently serving in the armed forces.

The Tribute is a two-part project that will include a website with a searchable database of their names, as well as the memorial on Miami’s Oxford campus that will include the names of those who died in service.

To celebrate the military service of its alumni (anyone who attended at least one semester on any campus), Miami asks that you register yourself or a deceased family member who served. A searchable database will be available soon.

Starting with an idea five years ago by Dave Miller (Miami ’60, MBA ’69) and David Lawrence (Miami ’64), the project was driven by alumni passion, guided by a committee of alumni veterans and funded through private support of alumni and friends.

It will debut with a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Veterans Day (Sunday, Nov. 11).

According to Robert Keller, alumnus and university architect emeritus, the committee of alumni veterans wanted the memorial to identify Miami veterans who gave their lives in service to our country, represent the five branches of the military, display the flag prominently, accommodate formal events and individual meditation, and be easy to access.

“The design concept became clear,” Keller said. “The composition should include all of these elements cohesively and physically symbolize that our freedoms are supported by those who have given their lives in service to our country.”

The memorial will include the following elements:

  • Two interwoven and rising spirals that represent liberty and justice and wind inward toward an illuminated U.S. flag.
  • An engraved band of names on the spirals of those who were killed in action or missing in action, symbolically placing Miami’s heroes at the foundation of U.S. freedoms.
  • Inscriptions of text of the Bill of Rights, military oath, Pledge of Allegiance and Preamble to the Constitution on the metal cap of the wall.
  • Quotes from former U.S. Presidents Benjamin Harrison (Miami 1852), Woodrow Wilson and Harry S. Truman and Gen. George S. Patton.
  • The memorial’s footprint that forms a five-pointed star, featuring five entrances that each have a planter box with the seal of one of the military branches.