Iowa Alumni Magazine | February 2009 | News

Salute to Service

By IAM Staff
The UI holds its first Veterans Day celebration.

UI veterans stood proudly with their hands over their hearts as members of the Air Force ROTC Color Guard marched across the Iowa Memorial Union's Second Floor Ballroom to post the American flag.

Around 50 Iowa students, faculty, and staff attended this past November's reception, which marked the first time that the UI has sponsored a Veterans Day celebration. More than 300 university employees and 350 students identify themselves as veterans.

Tom Rocklin, interim vice president for student services, reminded the group of the IMU's beginnings as a memorial to student soldiers who died in World War I. Just a floor below the ballroom, an engraving near the Main Lounge entrance reads, "And if this magnificent structure is to fulfill the dreams out of which it has arisen it can only do so by stirring the impulses of the young men and women of Iowa to lives . . . of service to mankind."

Other speakers at the event included UI Veterans Association President Amy Johnson and U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack, who praised the sacrifices of those who have served in the military.

Many veterans present at the ceremony also expressed gratitude for the opportunities provided by their time in service. "I didn't realize my potential until I got into the military," says Dorothy Simpson-Taylor, director of diversity resources at the UI Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity and a Vietnam-era veteran. "It was the first time I viewed myself not only as a member of my family and community, but also as a citizen of the world."