At Washburn University, our recognition and appreciation of military service goes back to our founding in 1865 when we made admission of Union veterans and their dependents a priority. Today, we are proud to continue to provide resources and support to our veteran students who have served our country with honor. It is Washburn’s honor to be recognized as the first Purple Heart University in Kansas and as a Military-Friendly School.

Dr. Mazachek speaks at the new veteran memorial dedication.

Washburn University celebrates military heritage with new veterans memorial dedication

We remind our students, alumni, faculty, staff and visitors of the sacrifices others have made for our freedom with four war and veterans memorials on campus. We dedicated the most recently built Veterans Memorial, located behind Morgan Hall, November 10, 2023. Many generous donors came together to recognize and fund this new memorial in memory of the Washburn University students who gave all in Vietnam, as well as those who serve in all the branches of the military. The other memorials are dedicated to veterans of the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.

The Civil War Memorial

President William Howard Taft visited Washburn University on September 27, 1911. During that visit, the only to the Topeka campus by a sitting president, Taft dedicated a flagpole to the memory of those who died in the Civil War. Although the original flagpole is no longer on campus, Flagpole Rock, in the plaza of flags west of Carnegie Hall, bears a plaque that reads: Erected and dedicated as a silent lesson in patriotism at the base of a flagpole in front of the Thomas Gymnasium. In memory of those who fell in the war for the preservation of the Union by the surviving veterans of Shawnee County in Kansas.

President Taft dedicating the Civil War flag pole memorial.
Flag pole memorial plaque.
A plaque marks the replacement flag poles damaged in the 1966 tornado.
Lincoln College

Lincoln College

  • Washburn was founded at the close of the Civil War in 1865 as Lincoln College, which the trustees purposed "shall commemorate the triumph of Liberty over Slavery in our nation and serve as a memorial of those fallen in defense of their country."

Larrick Memorial Bench: World War I

A bench at the northwest corner of Carole Chapel honors the service of Louis Lloyd Larrick, ba1915, who died while serving in the war. The bench was provided by Larrick’s parents and includes the following inscription: Louis Lloyd Larrick who sacrificed his life for the perpetuation of civilization in the Great World War. Sept. 27, 1918. Larrick, a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, took some law courses and was active in campus organizations. He also competed on the football and baseball teams. There were 17 other Washburn alumni who died in World War I.

Louis Lloyd Larrick
Students in 1939 sitting on the Larrick memorial bench.
People pose for a photo around the Larrick Memorial bench when it was dedicated.
Larrick Memorial bench on a recent fall day.

The Memorial Union: World War I, World War II, and the Korean War

As early as 1946, students, alumni and the Topeka and Shawnee County community advocated for the creation of a student union that would be a living memorial to those who served in World War I and World War II. Beginning in 1948, the Independent Women’s Alumni group sold metal emblems of Ichabod that could be attached to a vehicle or placed on a desk or shelf with proceeds going to the student union fund. Washburn students voted to assess themselves a $3 fee per semester to raise money for the building and Shawnee County residents and alumni made generous donations. The Memorial Union opened December 3, 1951 and was dedicated on Washburn Founders Day, Feb. 6, 1952. A bronze plaque with the names of those who died in World War I, World War II and the Korean War from Washburn and Shawnee County was dedicated June 1, 1952.

Memorial plaque in the northwest entrance of the union.

Dedication plaque

  • Today, a large bronze plaque stands in the lobby of the northwest entrance near the Living Learning Center. The plaque includes the names of all Shawnee County residents, including Washburn students, who lost their lives in World War I (144 names), World War II (469 names) and the Korean War (21 names). It can be viewed whenever the Union is open.
Memorial Union in 1955.
Close up of Memorial plaque.
Memorial Union under the canopy of a tree on a spring day.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Dedicated on Veteran’s Day in November of 1988 at the southwest corner of 18th Street and College Avenue near Morgan Hall, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial existed thanks to 10 students who were veterans of the war and alumnus (ba '51), and administrator Lee Dodson, who corresponded with many student servicemen during their time in Vietnam. The memorial included the names of the 47 Washburn students who did not return home. This memorial is no longer on campus; it was moved to Topeka Cemetery in 2023 and a new memorial now occupies that space.

Jack Quinlan lays a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial closeup.
A soldier salutes the Memorial plaque.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial decorated for Veterans Day.

 

Name Date Name Date
Ralph George Redmond 6-4-64 Victor Hale 12-8-68
Allen Lee Holt 7-5-65 Gary William Dudley 1-11-69
Dale K. Shambaugh 8-18-65 Thomas Edward Adams 2-27-69
Eugene Millard Jewell 4-4-65 Michael George Allendorf 3-11-69
Richard Norman Payne 7-24-66 James George Bunch Jr. 4-9-69
Gary Reed Parsons 9-26-66 Dale LaVerne Milbradt 4-11-69
Richard John Sasek 7-6-67 Steve Alexander Crawshaw 5-6-69
Jerome George McGovern 7-12-67 Steven Duane Paxson 5-22-69
Robert Gene Kimel 11-14-67 Craig Felker 6-4-69
Carl Eugene Murray 12-20-67 Kerry Eugene Hess 6-5-69
Jerry Dean Barksdale 1-31-68 Rodney David Wilson 7-3-69
Rodney Gene Hinton 2-7-68 Clinton Dwight Pierce 11-8-69
Lonnie Guy LeBombard 2-9-68 Huey Lee Ishman 11-19-69
Keith David Ed Will Coon 2-16-68 James Michael Garrett 11-29-69
Patrick Michael Berwert 3-25-68 Arlen D. Richardson 2-17-70
Jack Dee Goode 4-21-68 Steve Warren Train 4-2-70
Martin Joseph Grace Jr. 5-26-68 Alvin Eugene Mather 6-4-70
Phillip Lyn Gosselin 7-28-68 James Peter Hassett 6-5-70
Gerald David Berger 8-5-68 Thomas Theodore Hewitt 7-2-70
Patrick Joseph Griffin 8-18-68 Paul Thomas Gillaspie 11-27-70
Boyd Canfield 8-28-68 William Steven Stewart 12-15-70
Melvin Ray Long 9-13-68 Christopher L. Raimey 2-10-71
Ronald Lee Conroy                  10-3-68 James Robert Meade      4-2-71
William Joseph Harp 11-16-73 

Memorial Plaza

The Veterans Memorial, dedicated November 10, 2023, centers around a bronze Battle Field Cross sculpture telling the story of Washburn’s military veterans, and a seven-foot-tall stone bearing all 47 names of those who served and died in Vietnam. The Vietnam memorial is joined by seven additional standing stones arranged around the perimeter to commemorate each of the U.S. military’s six branches of service plus one additional in recognition of the many nurses who also served in war. The site is anchored with three flagpoles flying the American, Kansas and POW/MIA flags, and the open-air nature of the plaza makes it a natural focal point on campus for veteran and memorial activities. Eighty donors generously helped make the new memorial a reality.

Statue on the Memorial Plaza.
New Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
New Memorial Plaza.
back to top button