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Sources: Fred Cholick, 785-532-7566, fcholick@k-state.edu;
Art DeGroat, 785-532-0369, degroata@k-state.edu;
and Tim Chapman, tdchapman@fhsu.edu
News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-2535, evietti@k-state.edu

Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010

DESIGN FOR UNIVERSITY'S NEW WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL TO BE UNVEILED NOV. 10

MANHATTAN -- After eight years of planning, the design for Kansas State University's World War II Memorial has been chosen.

The design will be unveiled in a ceremony at the eventual site of the memorial, in the center of the circular drive in front of McCain Auditorium, at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10. The ceremony is open to the public.

The memorial design, "Tags of Honor," was created by Tim Chapman, president and CEO of the Fort Hays State University Foundation and a former employee of the KSU Foundation.

"When asked to design a piece that would be symbolic of the branches of the military and represent the men and women who served, images of other wonderful memorials came to mind," Chapman said. "But the committee wanted something unique, something worldly."

Chapman's design encompassed what the K-State World War II Memorial committee was seeking. The memorial will consist of a large pair of dog tags sitting on a pentagonal-shaped base. The design of the tags is historically accurate for World War II.

Surrounding the piece will be three bronze plaques designed by Dan Hunt, sculpture professor at K-State. The plaques will represent the military services by air, by land and by sea.

"Numerous concepts and proposals for the memorial have been considered by the committee since 2002," said Art DeGroat, K-State's director of military affairs. "A significant effort was made to ensure the most acceptable and appropriate memorial was selected to honor the more than 8,500 K-State students who served in World War II. Tim Chapman's design was considered by the committee to be nontraditional, but it made the most compelling impression upon us all.

"I showed this design to current military veteran students and our ROTC cadets for their impression, and they had an overwhelming positive reaction. The 'Tags of Honor' had an enduring appeal to our current generation of military students, while deeply honoring the service and sacrifice of the World War II veterans."

The sculpture will be placed upon sacred soil -- actual soil from the final resting places of K-State World War II veterans.

"We gathered soil from every state veterans' cemetery in Kansas, Arlington National Cemetery and some private family plots," DeGroat said. "With full military honors, performed by our Army and Air Force ROTC cadets, we committed these soils to the ground at the epicenter of the site where the 'Tags of Honor' will rest. A plaque highlighting this feature will be placed upon the memorial.

"The World War II Memorial is an enduring symbol of K-State's commitment, as an institution of higher education, to supporting the men and woman that serve in our nation's military," he said.

The ceremony will conclude with the playing of taps, the traditional bugle call often played at military funerals.

"The World War II Memorial honors the sacrifice and service of many K-State students and faculty," said Fred Cholick, president and CEO of the KSU Foundation. "The sculpture will recognize all branches of the armed forces and create a moving centerpiece for the memorial. We are very grateful to the alumni and friends whose contributions helped build the memorial. It will provide current and future generations of K-Staters with a place for reflection and pride in the sacrifices of those who went before them."

The memorial will be completed in May. A dedication ceremony is planned for Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2011.