This Friday night, a few hours before thousands of fans attend the home Dartmouth football game, alumni will gather to recognize the memorial plaques that have been relocated from various campus sites to Memorial Field—a stadium built in 1923 to honor veterans of World War I.
“The renovation of the West Stands was a great opportunity to bring together the memorials that recognize alumni and student military service,” says Martha J. Beattie ’76, vice president for alumni relations. “These plaques are powerful reminders of the service to and sacrifices made for our country since the Civil War by Dartmouth women and men.”
The initiative to centralize the plaques was a united effort of Dartmouth classes and the Sphinx Foundation. Speakers at the ceremony will be Mike Lauria ’05, MED ’18, a former Air Force pararescueman; Pete Frederick ’65 former foreign service officer and vice president of the Sphinx Foundation; Nathan Bruschi ’10, president of Dartmouth Uniformed Service Alumni (DUSA); and James Wright ’64a, Dartmouth College president emeritus.
Among the plaques is the 2015 creation, “The Hill Winds Know Their Name,” by sculptor Dimitri Gerakaris ’69. The striking circular design—visible from outside the gates of Memorial Field—honors “all the men and women of Dartmouth who have served their country in war and peace.”
This Veterans Day weekend also marks the introduction of an important addition to the Dartmouth Alumni Directory, which is open to all of the College’s 77,000 alumni. Now, there is a specific place for alumni to mark a connection to or interest in military service.
“Our military service alumni in DUSA asked for this, and we’re pleased to see it implemented,” says Derikka Mobley ‘10, assistant director of alumni affiliated and shared interest groups. “This is a meaningful way to recognize our veterans who have served their country and to help foster connections between them.”
About Memorial Field
Completed in 1923, Dartmouth’s Memorial Field was built as a tribute to the 112 alumni who died in World War I, which ended just five years earlier. It wasn’t only the peers of the alumni who wanted to honor the fallen in World War I—it was also their predecessors, including 47 veterans of the Civil War who installed a special plaque. In the publication The Hill Winds Know Their Name, Charles T. Wood wrote: “Dartmouth had no better way to honor its dead than by building Memorial Field, a stadium looking proudly but sadly to the past even as the nature of its athletic function also allowed the College to look expectantly forward, to better times to come.”