Tag: veterans memorial gardens

Aerial shot of the Langston University Langston Campus


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by Ellie Melero, Media Relations Specialist

Langston University and Wm Conrad Veterans Memorial Gardens have entered into a partnership meant to enhance the way the Veterans Memorial Gardens honors veterans while also giving students opportunities to gain real-world experience.

The partnership was signed Nov. 11, 2023, and marks a new era in the relationship between the University and the Veterans Memorial Gardens.

“This partnership is an effort to bring Langston University faculty, staff, and students together with members of the Town of Langston and surrounding communities,” said Dr. Alonzo Peterson, the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Langston University is proud to support this effort to provide recognition, appreciation and resources to veterans in our community.”

Stewart Williams, a Langston native and military veteran, conceived the idea for the Wm Conrad Veterans Memorial Gardens in 2011 to find a way to honor all who have served. He broke ground for the Gardens in 2015, began holding Memorial Day services in the Gardens in 2018, and held the grand opening for the Gardens on Oct. 1, 2022.

During that time, Langston University students, faculty and staff from the Departments of Music and Communication have been involved with the Gardens through events such as choir performances and media representation. Additionally, students from various sororities have served as greeters, hostesses, guest registers and servers at the four annual veterans’ appreciation events. These activities will continue, and now the door has been opened for even more involvement from LU students through activities such as volunteer projects and internship opportunities.

“This new agreement encourages both entities to become formal partners in the development of services and program delivery for veterans on campus and in the communities surrounding the University,” Mr. Williams said. “It also allows both the University and the Gardens to pool human and other resources in a collective manner to deliver veteran activities, veteran program awareness, and sustain long-term positive outcomes for veterans on the campus and in the community.”

As the University and the Gardens enter a new year, both institutions intend to work toward their common goal of honoring veterans and providing students with valuable opportunities to develop their skills.

“One of the goals of the partnership is to identify veterans who are students, faculty or staff members to become part of the veterans group that is honored each year,” Dr. Peterson said. “We also encourage the Langston University family to provide their expertise to enhance the operations and programming developed by the Wm Conrad Veterans Memorial Gardens on behalf of the US Veterans.”

“We hope this new partnership will enhance the operation and Veterans’ programs developed and delivered by the Gardens; create possible internships for students majoring in horticultural programs or other academic programs offered by the University; provide University students with hands-on experiences to enhance and support their academic coursework; and contribute to the overall success of the Gardens that would not happen without the MOU,” Mr. Stewart said.