USU dedicates new home for old plaques, honoring World War I and Veterans Day

Avard Fairbanks' "The Victorious American Doughboy" is a 26-inch bronze statue that was dedicated at Utah State University on Nov. 12, 2018

Today Utah State University added a second War Memorial as its newest addition to the public art that can be seen on its main campus. The memorial was unveiled Monday in honor of Veterans Day.

USU historic plaque dedicated to those who served during WWII.

The memorial features three bronze plaques once housed in Old Main, prior to the fire in the building in the 1980s. The dedication on Veterans Day was also the centennial of Armistice that ended the first World War.

Katie Lee-Koven, executive director and chief curator for USU’s Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, recently learned about the plaques.

“We were approached by the Fairbanks family for a donation, the Doughboy World War I sculpture by Avard Fairbanks,” Lee-Koven explains. “Upon receiving that donation opportunity, it was brought to my attention that we had also been storing here at Utah State University plaques, four plaques that came out of Old Main from the fire in the 1980s.”

The plaques have now been placed in front of the Military Science building on the west end of Aggie Boulevard. Monday’s ceremony included the USU ROTC Color Guard with a Presentation of the Colors with music provided by USU Aggie Marching Band and a welcome by Major Klint Kuhlman who oversees the USU ROTC Army department. Emeritus USU History Professor Ross Peterson also spoke about the long history USU has had in support of war efforts.

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