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The Memorial Bell Tower was completed at Northwest in 1971 to memorialize students, faculty and others who had served the country, including the military. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

The Memorial Bell Tower was completed at Northwest in 1971 to memorialize students, faculty and others who had served the country, including the military. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

Oct. 26, 2018

University to mark Veterans Day by laying wreaths at memorials

Updated Nov. 2, 2018

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Northwest Missouri State University will commemorate Veterans Day by placing wreaths at each of its military markers as a tribute to the men and women who have served the United States.

University leaders will place the wreaths, beginning at 8:45 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9. Northwest began the tribute in 2014 and has continued it annually.

Additionally, the University’s Symphony Orchestra will host a Veterans Day celebration concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, in the Charles Johnson Theater at the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts building. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will feature a special “Armed Forces Salute” to honor the individuals who have served or are currently serving in the United States military.

The University also will host a Veterans Day Coffee at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12. Free coffee will be available to veterans and active duty military members at Starbucks in the B.D. Owens Library.

Veterans Day, which falls this year on Sunday, Nov. 11, marks the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918.

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

Beginning in 1918, students, alumni, employees and community members have donated and supported a variety of memorials on the campus to honor United States service men and women.

World War I Memorial Plaza
World War I Memorial Plaza

Military markers on the Northwest campus consist of the Memorial Bell Tower, the Persian Gulf War Memorial just north of the J.W. Jones Student Union, the Bell of ’48, the World War I Memorial Plaza at the corner of College Park Avenue and Memorial Drive, the Roll of Honor on the third floor of the Administration Building and the Navy Room under the west grandstand of Bearcat Stadium.

Information about the military memorials is provided below. For questions or inquiries, contact the University Archives at 660.562.1974 or

World War I Memorial Plaza

In 1919, the Nodaway County Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution planted trees and raised money for brick pillars and plaques to display names of 46 soldiers who died in the World War I. In the 1970s, the pillars were removed during a street renovation project and later reinstalled on the Northwest campus.

The Memorial Plaza was formally dedicated Nov. 10, 2006, and lies just west of the B.D. Owens Library, at the corner of College Park Avenue and Memorial Drive.

Bell of '48
Bell of '48

Bell of ‘48

The class of 1948 gifted Northwest with a memorial bronze bell in honor of all soldiers who fought and died during World War II, especially those fallen soldiers who attended Northwest or who once lived in northwest Missouri. The bronze bell has since heralded Northwest achievements and celebrations and mournfully chimed to honor the passing of students.

The Bell of ’48 is located along University Drive on the grounds between the Memorial Bell Tower and the Administration Building.

Roll of Honor

Roll of Honor

Former Northwest President J.W. Jones is pictured at the Roll of Honor.

A display cabinet on the Administration Building’s third floor features memorial plaques honoring service men and women from World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

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

Memorial Bell Tower

Centrally located on the Northwest campus, the open-air Memorial Bell Tower is an iconic structure that was completed in 1971 to memorialize students, faculty and others who had served the country, including the military.

Constructed using pre-cast concrete, the Bell Tower stands 100 feet tall and measures 25 feet in diameter. It also features brass memorial plaques and an electronic carillon.

University President Robert Foster announced his plan to build the Bell Tower in 1965, and it was completed entirely with funds donated by University alumni and friends. In 2004, the Bell Tower underwent an extensive renovation that included structural repairs and improved handicapped accessibility.

Persian Gulf War Memorial

Donated by the class of 1991, an outdoor memorial stone lies near the sidewalk between the J.W. Jones Student Union and the Administration Building.

During the 1990-1991 academic year, two Northwest students in the University’s ROTC program were called into active duty and others had family members called into service. Student organizations and community members sponsored events in support of troops involved in Operation Desert Storm, including a yellow ribbon ceremony at the Bell Tower. KDLX, the student radio station, was selected to send weekly, five-minute broadcasts covering local events to the Armed Forces Radio Network in Saudi Arabia.

Navy V-5/V-12 Combat Information Center

From 1943 to 1945, Northwest served as a Naval Shore Station for the U.S. Navy. The V-12 program trained deck officers and the V-5 program trained Navy pilots, with Naval officers administering the programs and Northwest faculty providing instruction. The program changed the look of Northwest for two years as residence halls were converted to house Navy personnel. Naval officers set up temporary offices in what is now Wells Hall, and Navy recruits joined the Northwest football team.

In October 2003, the Combat Information Center classroom, located under Bearcat Stadium’s west grandstand, was completed with donations from Northwest alumni, including Ned and Margie (Campbell) Bishop. The classroom serves as a tribute to individuals who prepared for combat duty in the Navy at Northwest.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215