Stanford to honor veterans – past and present – Friday

Stanford will celebrate Veterans Day on Friday by laying wreaths in Memorial Court and Memorial Auditorium, along with a letter from President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. The university’s Office for Military-Affiliated Communities held a private reception Thursday for students, faculty and staff. The national Veterans Day ceremony takes place Saturday, Nov. 11.

In his Veterans Day Letter, which will be displayed Friday in Memorial Court and Memorial Auditorium, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said the Stanford community has a rich tradition of military service that continues today.


Wreaths and a letter from the university president, such as shown here in 2013, typically recognize Veterans Day each year at Stanford. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

“We’re proud that this year more than 120 United States military veterans, more than 30 dependents of veterans and 11 ROTC students are studying at Stanford and contributing to the vibrancy of our community – as undergraduate and graduate students and visiting fellows at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Hoover Institution,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote in the annual letter, which will be displayed with floral wreaths at both campus locations.

“We also honor the many alumni who have served – and continue to serve – this country,” the letter continues. “We also pay tribute today to the memory of the many members of the Stanford community who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.”

Jane Stanford, who co-founded the university with husband Leland Stanford, established Memorial Court in 1900 to recognize the service of the Stanford volunteers of the Spanish-American War of 1898. In 1937, the university extended the tribute to Memorial Auditorium to honor members of the community who died in World War I.

Today, Memorial Auditorium commemorates the alumni, students, staff and faculty who have died in every war since then, including a new memorial in the lobby honoring those who died in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I hope you will take a moment to contemplate the names on these walls and the lives lost that they represent,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote. “These areas of the campus were established for just this purpose.”

On Thursday, Stanford’s Office for Military-Affiliated Communities (OMAC) hosted a private reception to celebrate Veterans Day. The speakers at the event will include Admiral Gary Roughead, U.S. Navy (Ret.), a distinguished military fellow at the Hoover Institution, two student veterans – an undergraduate student and an MBA student at the Graduate School of Business – and David D. Rice, who recently became assistant director of OMAC.

Each year, the national Veterans Day ceremony is held on Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery. This year, the ceremony commences precisely at 11 a.m. on Saturday with a wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony honors and thanks all who served in the U.S. armed forces.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the date the wreaths and letters would be displayed in Memorial Court and Memorial Auditorium.