EKU’s New Veterans Memorial in Final Stages of Completion

Published on October 11, 2023

By Sarah Bashford

Eastern Kentucky University’s (EKU) new Veterans Memorial, located in Carloftis Garden, has entered the final stages of completion. The construction of the memorial is expected to be complete on Oct. 31.

“We are excited to update the EKU community that the new Veterans Memorial is nearing completion,” said Dr. Bryan Makinen, EKU’s associate vice president for facilities management and safety. “As a campus landmark for the past two decades, the upgrades to the memorial reflect EKU’s dedication to veterans. We hope our community will enjoy the larger space to reflect and remember those who have served.”

The Veterans Memorial was originally dedicated in 2004 and built with the investment of generations of veterans. Like the previous location in Powell Plaza, the new Veterans Memorial has a granite slate inscribed with the names of those who gave their lives while serving, a flag display, benches dedicated by veterans and their families, the Fallen Soldier Cross sculpture and other features representing those who serve in the nation's armed forces. Additionally, the new location provides more green space, landscaping elements and designated parking.

“The completion of this project displays just one of so many ways the leadership here at EKU honors and cares about those who have served this country,” said LTC Vincent Thomas, EKU’s director of the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs (OMVA). “Our veteran, military and military-affiliated students and alumni are some of the greatest people at EKU and the surrounding community. This upgrade is our tribute to their hard work and sacrifice.”

Multiple teams, each instrumental from start to finish, came together to coordinate the construction of the new Veterans Memorial, embodying the collaborative spirit of honoring those who have served. The teams involved include: 

Design Team

  • Dan Engelbrecht, Landscape Architect, Hafer

  • Ron Steinhart, Vice President, Hafer

Construction Team

  • Clinton Harding, Foreman, Stewart Contracting Corporation

  • Jason Stewart, Project Manager, Stewart Contracting Corporation

EKU Team

  • Matt Whittenberg, Assistant Director of Project Management and Construction

  • Ellen Reeves, Associate Director of Fiscal Affairs and Project Management

  • Vincent Thomas, Director of the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs

  • Bryan Makinen, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management and Safety

Members of the EKU community are welcome to visit the almost-complete memorial in Carloftis Garden during EKU’s Homecoming weekend on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 12:30 p.m. Carloftis Garden is in front of Martin Hall, near the intersection of Lancaster and Park Drive. A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held once the memorial construction is complete, on Saturday, Nov. 4. Additional details about the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony can be found on EKU’s Alumni website

Comprising more than 10% of our student body, EKU is home to 1,656 veterans, active-duty service members, Reserve/National Guard members and military spouses and children, as of Fall 2023. With a long-standing dedication to veterans education, EKU has made the top three ranking in the Military FriendlyⓇ Schools review for the past two years. EKU is committed to honoring and remembering those who serve our country in the past, present and future.