New scholarship, memorial to honor MU veterans
Memorial incorporates MU’s landmark columns with the “missing man” concept.
Nov. 13, 2013
MU received a $1 million gift intended to fund full scholarships for veterans and unveiled the new Veterans’ Memorial Wall at Memorial Union on Wednesday.
The gift will establish the Col. Dwight B. Schannep U.S. Army Air Corps Veterans Scholarship Fund.
The donor of the $1 million gift, who has chosen to remain anonymous, has no formal MU affiliation.
Chancellor Brady Deaton said in the public announcement reception Wednesday that the donor chose MU as the gift recipient because of the work the Veterans Center has done and the academic reputation of the university. Another reason was that many veterans come from Midwest states, and MU is a nearby university.
MU is also home to the nation’s first Student Veterans Association.
“It’s very humbling for us to take the time to honor our veterans, and it’s something that we can’t do often enough as a university or a community,” Deaton said during the reception. “To all the veterans in attendance today, let me take this opportunity today to say thank you for the bravery you have demonstrated in so many ways.”
The Memorial Wall, initially proposed by Marty Walker, engineering director of administrative services, is MU’s first interactive memorial. It contains a flat screen television with a picture of each MU veteran, their branch of service, and histories of engagements in which they were involved.
An interior design studio class in the College of Human Environmental Sciences competed to design the memorial. Senior Karen Johnson won the competition. She designed the wall to depict the six columns with one missing.
“As a child, my dad was in the Air Force,” Johnson said. “In their airshows, they would always do the missing man formation. One day I was walking by the columns and wondered what would happen if one was missing.”
The missing column’s base has a light shining up from it. Johnson said she wanted to add something modern to Memorial Union to create a cross-generational aspect.
“Some things are so old here that some students don’t notice them,” she said. “I’ve definitely seen students interested in this wall already.”
The memorial faces the entrance on the north side of the union. Johnson said she wanted the monument to be seen by the most people possible and to represent what the building stands for.