The Student Veteran’s Organization at Texas Wesleyan University is submitting a proposal asking permission to build a veteran’s memorial on the historic campus.
In the proposal, Carolyn Clontz, history secondary education major and vice president of the SVO, stated her reason for wanting a veteran’s memorial on campus.
“As a potential student to Texas Wesleyan in 2009, I was told the story of the men that all signed up for the military during the war as the reason that Wesleyan does not have a football team,” Clontz said. ”For a university that is so proud of their students placing their patriotic duty ahead of their schooling, it seems odd that there currently is no plaque, banner or anything else to proclaim Wesleyan’s proud patriotic tradition.”
According to the proposal, the plan for the memorial is to place two benches, two Sargent Crabapple trees, some flowers and a plaque on an un-used area of the university mall lawn. The plaque will sit at the foot of one of the trees and display the words, “Honoring all of the Texas Wesleyan Alumni who served in the military and their families.”
“We started out just wanting a tree to represent the veterans,” Clontz said. “Now [the memorial] seems to be growing and growing.”
For the memorial to be allowed to be built on campus, it first needs to be approved by the student life department. If it is approved, the next step will be to collaborate with the grounds keeping, facility and maintenance staff to find the exact placement of the memorial.
The cost to build the memorial is expected to be about $750. The members of the SVO plan to host fundraisers to raise the money for the supplies.
Ken Clontz, senior liberal arts major and SVO president, says he will most likely take responsibility for building the memorial.
“I have been the owner and operator of KC’s Lawn Service for more than 15 years,” Clontz said. “I have enough experiences to plant saplings that will flourish when planted. Over the years as the trees mature, they will produce fruit. It is a remembrance to those who have come and gone just like the seasons.”
Raven Smith, junior computer science major, says she would be happy to see a memorial built on campus for veterans.
“It would be nice for Texas Wesleyan to show appreciation for veterans, because there are a lot on this campus,” Smith said. “Having more benches to sit and relax in would also be good.”
Ken and Carolyn Clontz are both veterans who fought side-by-side in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2005.
“When so many veterans are coming home from recent battles overseas, I think it would be good to honor those who fought in the beginning to make Wesleyan the well-renowned university it is today,” Carolyn Clontz said.
The SVO became a part of Wesleyan student organizations after being approved by the Student Government Association this February. The group is open to anyone with a military affiliation and meets every Friday in the Poly United Methodist Church at noon.
By: Jessica Pounds