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Memorial Union Memorial Union: The Transcendent Tower

In Memoriam

MU honored the 117 men who died in World War I by carving their names and a dedicatory inscription on the north and south walls of Memorial Tower’s arcade. Shortly after the tower’s completion, graduating seniors initiated a commencement exercise of placing a wreath on the arcade’s floor in memory of the fallen soldiers and sailors. This tradition has long lapsed, but students, staff, and faculty continue to honor the men by removing their hats and speaking in hushed tones when passing through the tower’s arcade. Since its completion, Memorial Union has continued to honor the brave Missouri men and women serving in the U. S. armed forces. In 1952, the newly completed north wing of Memorial Union was dedicated to the 328 male students who lost their lives in World War II. Bronze plaques inscribed with their names are in the north wing’s foyer. Another plaque, located next to the stairwell in Tower Lounge, commemorates students, faculty, and staff who died in U. S. wars and conflicts from 1945 to 1996. The hallway perpendicular to this is dedicated to students who sacrificed their lives since the 1990s. A series of panels contains the names of male and female MU students who fell in the line of duty.

Two female students from 1939 graduating senior class laying wreath on Memorial Tower’s arcade floor in honor of fallen World War I soldiers and sailors, 6/1939 (Courtesy of University Archives, C:1/14/1)

Architectural drawing of proposed Missouri Union

1939 Commencement program listing (at 11:00 A.M.) laying of the wreath commencement exercise, 6/1939 (Courtesy of University Archives, C:1/141/1)Architectural drawing of proposed Memorial Union


Memorial Union Exhibition

Exhibition Home

History of Memorial Tower

Making the Memorial

In Memoriam

Signs, Symbols, and Seals: The Sculpture of Memorial Tower

Figured in Stone: The Arcade Sculptures of Memorial Tower

Tradition: Tipping the Cap


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Museum of Art and Archaeology | College of Arts and Science | University of Missouri
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