Most University students and staff members are familiar with the Memorial Chapel, yet many do not know its origins.
Honoring our Veterans at Memorial Chapel
Although the Chapel is one of the University’s most visible icons, many are unaware of its role as a Memorial to those Maryland students, alumni, faculty and staff who made the ultimate sacrifice as members of the armed services. During the building dedication on Oct. 12, 1952, then Chairman of the Board of Regents Judge William P. Cole, Jr., declared that the Chapel stood "in loving remembrance of those who died in defense of their country..." To fully solidify the memory of University associates who served and lost their lives during military conflict, a Memorial Book was established and was first "published" with 209 names. This book can be found in the University Archives.
Each Veterans Day, the University community gathers to honor and celebrate the contributions of Maryland Veterans. This commemoration has gained momentum as part of the University of Maryland’s Veterans Initiative to raise the level of opportunities for Veterans on campus. In November 2008, the Memorial Chapel was proud to contribute to the inaugural Veterans Week which presented a series of programs for and about Veterans. Since then, this treasured event has become a tradition.
2019 Veterans Day Celebration
On November 11, 2019, the University saluted the contributions of our Veteran community through an exceptional program of music and spoken word. Remarks were offered by two Veterans with extensive ties to the UMD community.
Currently a PhD student in the School of Public Health, Sara Olsen completed nine years of active duty and several combat deployments as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal officer in the U.S. Navy. Inspired by her post-active duty work in training wounded warriors, she became one of the founders of the Crossroads Adaptive Athletic Alliance, a nonprofit designed to increase inclusive fitness for all people with disability.
A director in the facility management staff, Jack Baker came to the University in 1992 after serving twenty years overseas and stateside in the U.S. Air Force. Having reached the rank of Colonel, he retired as the Military Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Installations.
At the conclusion of the program, all attendees, including Veterans and their co-workers and families, were invited as guests to a buffet lunch in the Memorial Chapel Garden of Reflection and Remembrance.
Attendees also received a Veterans Day Honor and Remember bracelet!
2019 Veterans Day Service