Veterans Day was initially “Armistice Day,” first observed during World War I, one year after a temporary truce between the Allied nations and Germany. Armistice Day was designed to be a day of recognition at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, one year after the original armistice during WWI. Now, that cessation is recognized as Veterans Day—always on November 11, with a moment of silence at 11:11 a.m. during parades and ceremonies.

IUP is grateful for the service of its faculty, staff, student, and alumni veterans. In recognition of Veterans Day, learn about an IUP center dedicated to helping military-affiliated students achieve their academic goals and about monuments across campus that honor veterans from World War I to the Vietnam War to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country.”

George S. Patton Jr.

A Center for Supporting Veterans

In 2014, IUP opened its Military Resource Center, now called the Military and Veterans Resource Center, to help its military-affiliated students transition to college life.

Since that time, those students, who number about 900 a year, have made roughly 10,000 visits to the center for information, guidance, and support.

“The importance of having a space on campus like the MVRC is twofold,” said Cory Shay, director of the center, now located in Suites on Maple East. “It is a place to provide support and resources for students, but it also allows veterans to connect with fellow veterans.”

According to Shay, research shows that veterans will be more successful in college when they can connect with fellow veterans and build that camaraderie they had in the military.

Catherine Martsolf, a junior in the Biology/Pre-medical and Economics programs and a member of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, said seeing the MVRC helped influence her choice to attend IUP.

“The MVRC is my safe place here at IUP,” she said. “It was the first office I stepped into prior to my enrollment at IUP, and ever since then, it has just felt like home. I came into college a semester late due to basic training and tech school, so I didn’t get the college experience like other IUP students did with Welcome Week and Move-In Day for the dorms.

“I came in not knowing anyone, scared that I wasn’t going to have a place to belong. I was wrong, because I had the MVRC. It gave me the opportunity to connect with other students who are currently serving or who have already served.

“The MVRC gives students like me a sense of belonging, which plays a crucial role in ensuring that those who have served their country receive the support and resources they need to lead them to a successful and fulfilling career after their military service.”

In addition to the direct support the center provides, it has played a critical role in developing policies that help students make up work they’ve missed due to drills, training, and active duty.

“The MVRC works closely with the Academic Success Center to ensure a smooth transition for vets returning home and to their studies,” Shay said. “These students have given up so much to fight for their country, so it is very appropriate that the university work to make that transition easier.”

A member of the Army Reserve and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Shay was selected earlier this year for Military Friendly’s Veteran Champions of the Year in Higher Education list.

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.”

Abraham Lincoln

“When I was hired back in 2014, I was told it was my job to stand in the room and say, ‘We can do better for our veterans and military students.’ Along the way, with support from faculty, staff, and IUP’s leadership, we worked together to change policies, procedures, and institutional best practices for supporting veterans and military-affiliated students,” Shay said.

“IUP’s national recognition as one of the best schools for veterans reflects that great work. It brings me great pleasure knowing that I have helped thousands of veterans and military-affiliated students attend and graduate from college.”

Monuments in Memory

Like most institutions, IUP has monuments on campus to recognize the sacrifices—including the ultimate sacrifice—that some alumni and students have made.

While some monuments have been driven by university leadership, student groups and individuals have also spearheaded efforts to design, finance, and build various on-campus memorials to remind us of the sacrifices veterans have made and to honor them for their service. See a map of the monuments on campus honoring veterans.

  • “Answering the Call” is located outside Jane Leonard Hall and was commissioned by Rho Tau Chi. This military-based, community service fraternity first proposed the project in November 2017 and raised funding for its design and construction. Unveiled on Veterans Day 2018, the monument honors veterans of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • Portrait plaques and bench monuments honor Capt. Robert Young ’67 and First Lt. James K. Flannery ’69, both of whom were killed in the Vietnam War. The monument is in the lobby of Pierce Hall. It was dedicated April 21, 2012.
  • The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was initially dedicated on Veterans Day 1982, near Leonard and Keith halls. The IUP Veterans Club and the Department of Military Science worked with the administration to design and build the memorial, the first by a US college or university to recognize Vietnam veterans. The memorial was rededicated in 2022 and moved to a spot near the front entrance of Pierce Hall.
  • Memorial Field House, the largest and most significant memorial facility on campus, is dedicated to alumni who lost their lives serving the country. It lists fallen members of the IUP family from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
  • The Sutton Hall memorial plaque honors the men and women of Indiana State Teachers College, the institution that would become IUP, who served during World War II.
  • The Sutton Hall flagpole, placed in 1925, has a memorial plaque for all veterans.
Answering the Call Memorial

Answering the Call

Robert M. Young

Robert M. Young portrait plaque

James K. Flannery

James K. Flannery portrait plaque

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Vietnam Veterans Memorial