Honoring SMU Veterans
SMU service flag, 1917.
The SMU World War Memorial, at Hillcrest Avenue and University Boulevard, was presented by the Class of 1924.
See related Daily Campus story.
SMU's World War II memorial, honoring the 134 students who died during the conflict, is located outside Fondren Library Center.
After World War II, thousands of veterans enrolled at SMU and “Trailerville” was established for those who were married.
Hannah Wood, a U.S. Navy veteran and SMU Maguire Ethics Center staffer, with former Pres. George W. Bush. She was recently elected president of the SMU MilVets group.
November 10, 2014
DALLAS (SMU) – SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility awarded special commemorative lapel pins to SMU Veterans at a luncheon hosted by the Office of the Provost on Tuesday, Nov. 11.
“With more than 170 military veterans enrolled at SMU, along with many other veterans among our faculty and staff, the University takes great pride in honoring their service to our country on Veterans Day,” said Paul Ludden, SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Colleges and universities across the U.S. are seeing a dramatic surge in veteran student enrollment and at SMU the number of military veterans using G.I. bill benefits has increased more than 250 percent since 2005. SMU Military Veterans, an undergraduate group sponsored by the Maguire Center, has become an active part of SMU life, including participating in public service events and hosting a tent on the Boulevard on football game days.
“SMU is establishing programs that create a sense of community among our veterans and support them academically, professionally and socially," said Candy Crespo, assistant director of the Maguire Center and a member of the SMU Veteran’s Advisory Board. “This fall we opened SMU's first Veterans Center, an informal gathering space in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. We also have secured academic credit for vets seeking to apply their military training and experience as their required wellness credit.”
Currently enrolled at SMU are 72 undergraduate veterans, 79 graduate student veterans, and an additional 22 in professional programs. SMU has been honoring veterans for almost a century beginning with World War I.
- In 1917, as SMU students left the classrooms to fight in World War I, a librarian stitched a red wool service flag to honor the soldiers. Blue stars spelled out “SMU” on the flag and hung behind a reference desk in Dallas Hall. After the war ended, she covered 11 blue stars with gold stars to honor those who lost their life. The flag is housed in the SMU Archives, and a monument just east of Hillcrest Avenue near the Perkins Administration Building bears the names of the eleven Mustangs who died in the war.
- Bronze plaques outside of Fondren Library honor the 134 students who died during World War II. The memorial plaza was given in 1999 by Henry S. Miller Jr. ’34 and Carmen Miller Michael ’45 to honor their brother, Lt. Jack Miller ’41, who was killed in action at Guadalcanal in 1942.
The annual Veterans Day luncheon on campus is becoming a cherished SMU tradition. Keynote speaker for Tuesday’s luncheon was U.S. Marine Corps Col. Samuel C. Nelson, III (Ret.), manager of business development at Bell Helicopter. Hannah Wood ’15 (U.S. Navy 2005-2010), president of the U.S. Military Veterans of SMU, and Andrew Phillips ’15 (U.S. Marine Corps 2008-2012), president of Cox Veterans in Business, made special presentations.
The program also included SMU President R. Gerald Turner, SMU Provost Ludden, SMU Chief of Police Richard Shafer (U.S. Air Force 1973-94), Associate Vice President for Campus Services Julie Wiksten ’78, ’92 and Maguire Center Director Rita Kirk.
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum offered free admission on Veterans Day to all military veterans, retirees, active duty, National Guard, Reserve and Coast Guard service members, plus five members of their family.
In addition, SMU Perkins School of Theology will host a special service — "Veterans in Service to God: A service of Worship and Thanksgiving" — at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, in Perkins Chapel. The Rev. Mary Miriti, Perkins M. Div. 2012 (U.S. Army Reserve captain and chaplain) will preach.
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