Topeka, Kan. – Washburn University will present its 35th annual Veterans Day ceremony Friday, Nov. 11, beginning at 11:11 a.m. in the Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center. The theme for this year’s ceremony is “Reminder of our Desire for Peace.” This event is free and the public is welcome.

     During the ceremony, Dr. Jerry Farley, Washburn University president emeritus, will be presented with a Quilt of Valor. A Quilt of Valor (QOV) is a quality, handmade quilt that is machine or hand quilted. It is awarded to a service member or veteran who has been touched by war. The quilt says unequivocally, “Thank you for your service and sacrifice in serving our nation.” To use the term Quilt of Valor, Quilts of Valor or QOV, the quilt must be a specific size, must have a label with required information, it must be awarded (it is not a gift) and it must be recorded.     

Program of Events




11:11 a.m.

Cleansing and Smudging

Standing Bear Intertribal Brotherhood

11:15 a.m.

Posting of the Colors   

Highland Park High School Air Force JROTC

11:20 a.m.

Memorial Smoke Release for Agent Orange and Toxic Burn Pits Victims

Jeanne Kessler, retired director of multicultural affairs for Washburn University, and Washburn University student veterans

11:25 a.m.

Wreaths in Recognition

Washburn Rural High School Air Force JROTC


Tolling of the Bells/Moment of Silence

Chris Bower, military transition coordinator for Washburn University


Warrior Song

Standing Bear Intertribal Brotherhood



Reverend Rick Souter



Marshall Meek, interim president of Washburn University


Presentation of a Quilt of Valor to Dr. Jerry Farley

Chris Bowers


National Anthem, America the Beautiful and Armed Forces Melody

Capital City Chorus



Chris Bowers


Keynote Speakers

Gene and Karolyn Roles 


Veteran Tribute

Jeanne Kessler


Taps with Echo

Jay Stevenson and Dr. Herschel Stroud


Prayer Song

Standing Bear Intertribal Brotherhood



Reverend Rick Souter



Chris Bowers


Booklet Distribution

Topeka West High School Army JROTC


      Washburn University’s campus is home to five war memorials dedicated to veterans of the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Further, Washburn University is designated as a Military-Friendly School and a Purple Heart University. While the university pauses to commemorate and honor our nation’s veterans throughout the year during special ceremonies, the Washburn community is dedicated to the support of veteran students throughout the year. Washburn’s designation as the first Purple Heart University in Kansas was awarded by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization chartered by Congress in 1958 to recognize men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat. This award was given in recognition of Washburn's continued service to veterans and members of the military.

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For further information, contact:
Joy Bailes
Assistant Director of Public Relations
Telephone: (785) 670-2153
Cell: (785) 230-1648


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