With USF ranked as the fifth-most veteran-friendly university in the nation by Military Times Edge magazine, a Fallen Bull memorial is in the works to further display the campuss dedication to veterans and the memorial is garnering support from veterans themselves.
Tiffany Martinez, a junior majoring in public affairs and an Army veteran, said a memorial dedicated to fallen veterans and USF alumni who have died in military service would be an outstanding idea.
Martinez served in Operation Iraqi Freedom from April 2009 to July 2010, as well as serving throughout the U.S. and abroad in Europe and Mexico. During her military service, she said she knew many fellow soldiers who died in their service overseas. A memorial like the Fallen Bull would honor their service and memory, she said.
Not only will I recognize their heroism, but everyone else will also be able to recognize what they have done, she said. They will never be forgotten.
Student Government (SG) will lead the effort to determine the design and location for the proposed memorial from suggestions submitted by the public and student body.
Though the location of the statue has not been decided upon, SG officials would like to be place it near the Marshall Student Center (MSC). SG is working with the USF administration on a list of possible locations for the memorial, SG Chief of Staff Taylor Lockwood, a junior majoring in political science, said. The cost of the memorial will be dependent on the finalized location and design idea.
The budget will depend entirely on the design and location, and neither of these have been finalized, he said. Once they are, we will begin requesting price quotes for the project from various companies.
Regardless of the price, funding towards the construction and placement of this memorial is expected to come entirely from donations, and Lockwood said the goal is to have the project completed before the fall of 2013.
Lockwood originally proposed the idea of a memorial for fallen veterans to student body President Brian Goff and Vice President George Papadeas. The two heads of the executive branch told Lockwood they liked the idea and wanted him to go forward with it.
We wanted to do something that was really unique and that recognized those individuals who were either wounded overseas or gave their lives to protect us, Goff said.
Lockwood proposed the idea of a memorial for fallen veterans with a design contest for the statue, he said, to gain more student participation in the project.
I thought the best way to get student input on this would be to have the students actually design it, Lockwood said. It gives the students the opportunity to have control over something significant happening on campus.
Lockwood said a few ideas have already been submitted, and Martinez said she recommended a memorial statue in a central area such as outside the MSC, or a location for veterans to see, such as near the Office of Veterans Services in the John and Grace Allen Building. Martinez said an ideal statue for her would be a soldier saluting, standing side by side with a bull.
Student submissions for the memorials design are due before Nov. 26, and can be submitted via email to Lockwood at firstname.lastname@example.org. A review committee was originally slated to pick the winning design, but SG is looking into the possibility of adding a module to their website allowing students themselves to vote for their favorite design.
Lockwood proposed the memorial, he said, to honor all veterans, and especially USF students and alumni who have lost their lives serving their country.
It is my hope that one day we will be the undisputed most veteran-friendly campus in the nation, he said.
Additional reporting by Alex Rosenthal