TOPEKA (KSNT) – Washburn University completed a fundraiser Monday to update a memorial for veterans on its campus after reaching its goal of $140,000.
The money raised will go toward improving a memorial dedicated to veterans from Washburn’s campus which is located on the south side of Morgan Hall. A majority of the funds raised for the upcoming construction work has been attributed to a pair of veterans: Washburn’s President Jerry Farley and John Dietrick, a member of the Washburn board of regents.
Farley served in the U.S. Army as a drill sergeant and a drill sergeant instructor. He and his wife, Susan, started the fundraiser in August with a $50,000 matching gift challenge which was quickly completed with the help of 80 other donors.
“Washburn has a long history of both military service and honoring those who served, and we are thankful to everyone who contributed to the project so veterans will continue to have a site and memorial commensurate with their sacrifice,” Farley said.
A significant gift was also given by Dietrick and his wife, Kristina, both graduates of Washburn, who helped the university meet its $140,000 goal.
“Making that gift was a very proud, humble and emotional moment for us,” said Dietrick. “Our veterans deserve this. We sincerely appreciate everything Dr. Farley and the Washburn administration are doing to bring this meaningful tribute to fruition.”
Improvements that will be made to the site include the replacement of the central plaque, with the old one being honorably retired to the Topeka Cemetery, the addition of a sculpted bronze fallen soldier and a number of standing stones that will represent each branch of the military and nurses who also served in the war.