Northwest Missouri State University will commemorate Veterans Day and pay tribute to veterans on Wednesday, Nov. 11, with military exhibits and activities as well as a dedication of its Veterans Commons, a remodeled space in Valk Center honoring military men and women.

From 7 to 11 a.m., community members may visit the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse for a come-and-go event featuring stations and activities, including a Ruck Pack March, push-up and pull-up contests, a water jug relay, soldier attire, military vehicles and other photo opportunities. Attendees also may write letters of gratitude to military members.

Northwest will dedicate Veterans Commons at 2 p.m. with a short program; the space will be open for tours until 4 p.m. The remodeled space on the top floor of Valk Center offers veterans a place to gather, study, network and interact with Missouri GOLD personnel and students.

Further enhancing the space, Northwest public history and museum studies students have developed a museum exhibit detailing the military experiences of students, faculty and staff as well as University activities during times of significant military conflict, including World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Visitors to Veterans Commons will have the opportunity to see artifacts and hear from veterans in their own words through an oral history component. Additionally, the Wall of Honor, which had been housed in the Administration Building for decades, has been relocated for permanent display in Veterans Commons.

Thousands of service men and women have called Northwest “home” since the University’s founding in 1905. Some enlisted after coming to Maryville as students or employees, while others enrolled or worked for the University after serving their country.

Today, Northwest is designated as a Military Friendly School, earning the distinction in 2020-21 for the ninth consecutive year, in recognition of its commitment to embracing military service members, veterans and their family members and ensuring their success on campus.

Northwest partners with several veterans organizations and regularly hosts a veterans service officer to assist with filing for VA benefits. Northwest participates in several federal and Missouri state programs such as the GI Bill and Missouri Returning Heroes and offers a variety of scholarships for military personnel and veterans, including a National Guard Scholarship to assist military students with housing.

About the Wall of Honor

In July 1917, the student newspaper, The Green and White Courier, began encouraging readers to submit names of any students involved in the war effort and published weekly additions to the “Roll of Honor.” For each submitted name, a star was added to a service flag displayed outside the Administration Building during World War I.

After the war, a bronze memorial plaque was displayed in the Administration Building with the names of five students who lost their lives in World War I. The tradition of a Roll of Honor continued during World War II, though, as Northwest students and staff created a temporary memorial using an Administration Building bulletin board and encouraged anyone to submit additions.

In 1945, a permanent plaque was placed outside the door of the University president’s office, and names were added throughout the 1950s as veterans came to Northwest after the war. Today, the World War II Roll of Honor displays 1,094 names and includes 35 names with gold stars indicating military members who died in service.

Students, alumni, employees and community members have donated and supported a variety of memorials on the Northwest campus to honor United States service men and women. In addition to the Wall of Honor, the campus features a World War I Memorial Plaza and a Persian Gulf War Memorial. The University’s Bell of ’48, Memorial Bell Tower and Navy V-5/V-12 Combat Information Center in Bearcat Stadium also pay tribute to veterans.

About Valk Center

Completed in 1970 and named for Donald N. Valk, long-time chair of the former Department of Technology, the building became the home of the University’s agriculture program in 1993.

In the summer of 2008, the lower level of Valk was remodeled to serve as the home the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. Lower-level classrooms opened in fall 2008 and faculty offices were completed in 2009.

In 2017, the School of Agricultural Sciences relocated from its space on the top floor of Valk Center to the Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation, allowing for the remodel to house Veterans Commons.

About Missouri Gold

Launched in 2016 through a partnership with the Missouri Army National Guard (MOARNG) and headquartered in Valk Center, Northwest’s Missouri GOLD program is the largest in the state, with 48 students enrolled, while the University’s collaboration with military personnel and resources has enhanced multiple training opportunities.

The GOLD program helps develop qualified Missouri citizens into commissioned officers in MOARNG through classroom instruction, leadership laboratories and physical conditioning training. It is designed to provide a pathway to becoming an officer in the MOARNG at schools that do not offer Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs.