Simpson University to Unveil Veterans Memorial Garden

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University invites North State veterans and community members to a special unveiling ceremony for a new veterans memorial garden that was constructed by the graduating class of 2018.

The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, near the center of campus at 2211 College View Drive in northeast Redding.

Guest speakers include former California Secretary of Veterans Affairs Maurice Johannessen and Shasta County Veterans Service Officer Celestina Traver.

The Simpson University Memorial Garden is the Class of 2018’s gift to the university. Senior class president Kyle Martin, a Red Bluff resident, said the concept grew from a wall to a garden, complete with plaques, bricks, roses, and more.

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Photo by Sarah Barrows / Simpson University students who helped construct the Veterans Memorial Garden, from left: Rachel Last, Julianna Gilson, Ian Hoskins (Shasta College student), Kyle Martin, Jessica Dager, Alexis Rodrigues, Colton Hardisty, Caleb Fowler. Not pictured: Tyler Shanahan and Michaela Herring.

Generous donations from local businesses covered the cost of the memorial, as well as materials to construct it. The 5-foot-tall-by-7-foot-wide wall contains bricks depicting the shields of each branch of the military. Climbing roses line the white vinyl fence facing the granite walkway through the garden.

Martin said the senior class discussed several gift options but decided this one would be most meaningful.

“I feel like our school does a good job of showing love for all different types of groups. Just recently the Veterans Success Center got started,” he said, referring to the opening in 2016 of a one-stop shop on campus for student veterans. “I remember thinking how crazy that was that our school didn’t have anything to say thank-you to veterans. Because of them, we have the opportunity to go to a school we want to.”

The memorial garden not only provides a place for veterans to visit, it might also be a respite for students, Martin said. “Any student who is away from home and having a rough day with the thought of family members serving or who have passed away can go to that memorial garden to connect more deeply.”

November 17 will mark the two-year anniversary of the grand opening of Simpson’s Veterans Success Center. Serving 50 student veterans this fall, the center is equipped with state-of-the-art technology equipment and houses a VA work-study site, the Student Veteran Organization, Simpson’s chapter of the SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society, academic resources, conference and study services, as well as a community space.

Learn more about Simpson University’s Veterans Success Center at simpsonu.edu/veterans.

A special thank-you to those who donated to make the Veterans Memorial Garden possible:
-Shasta County Veterans Affiliated Council
-John Ashmore Masonry
-Signarama
-Axner Excavating
-Wyntour Gardens
-Home Depot
-McEntire Landscaping
-Shameless O’Leery’s
-CoCo Mongolian Grill
-Associated Student Body of Simpson University

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of NursingA.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.