Stanford community pays tribute to military veterans

President Hennessy’s 2015 letter in honor of Veterans Day. (Photo credit: Tamer Shabani)

Each year, Stanford takes time around Veterans Day (Nov. 11) to honor those who have served in the U.S. military. In addition to today’s events, Stanford will honor veterans in Stanford Stadium on Saturday and with a 5K run at The Dish on Sunday.

The commemoration will begin at 11 a.m. this morning, when Stanford places wreaths – accompanied by letters from PRESIDENT JOHN L. HENNESSY – in Memorial Court and in the lobby of Memorial Auditorium. JANE STANFORD established Memorial Court in memory of the Stanford volunteers of the Spanish-American War of 1898. The commemoration was extended in 1937 to Memorial Auditorium, which was originally devoted to those from Stanford who died in World War I. Today, the auditorium walls bear the names of alumni, students, staff and faculty from every war since that time to the present day.

In his 2015 Veterans Day letter, Hennessy asks members of the Stanford community to take a moment to pay their respects to veterans in areas of the campus established for that purpose. He wrote:

“Stanford is honored to have more than 134 United States military veterans currently enrolled at the university as undergraduate and graduate students, and as visiting fellows at CISAC (Center for International Security and Cooperation) and the Hoover Institution. This year, we are also proud to have 13 ROTC students, who contribute to the vibrancy of our community as well as to Stanford’s rich heritage of service. Many Stanford alumni have served – and continue to serve – this country, both in the United States and beyond its borders, and we honor them as well.”

Naval ROTC, early 1960s, conducting a marching drill with rifles outside Encina Hall. (Photo courtesy Stanford University Archives.)
Naval ROTC conducting a marching drill with rifles outside Encina Hall in the early 1960s.
(Photo courtesy Stanford University Archives.)

Stanford also will mark Veterans Day by celebrating the 240th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps from 1:30-2:30 p.m. today in Stauffer Auditorium at the Hoover Institution. The event is open to the entire Stanford community.

In addition, Stanford’s Office for Military-Affiliated Communities, which is part of Student Affairs, will hold a private evening reception for veterans in the Bing Concert Hall Studio. The keynote speaker is Stanford Professor CONDOLEEZZA RICE, who is a former U.S. secretary of state. Retired Navy Commander ZOE DUNNING, a gay rights activist who earned an MBA at Stanford in 1993, also will speak. Stanford students will talk about the experiences of female veterans, undergraduate veterans and ROTC students on campus.

On Saturday, Nov. 14, during the Stanford vs. Oregon football game at Stanford Stadium, the theme will be “Honoring Our Heroes.” Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. More than three dozen members of Stanford’s military-affiliated community will unfurl a large U.S. flag for the National Anthem. The U.S Navy Parachute team, the Leap Frogs, will parachute into the stadium to deliver the game ball. A female veteran who recently completed a summer program at Stanford designed to prepare veterans to transfer from community colleges to elite, four-year universities, will sing “God Bless America” during the game. For ticket information, call 800-STANFORD.

Finally, the Stanford Undergraduate Veterans Association has organized a Veterans Day 5K Fun Run from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Nov. 15, at The Dish. The event is open to the entire Stanford community. To register, visit the association’s website.