The idea came from
Cody admitted that when he first came to
"I didn't feel like I stood out or that the school cared about me as a student or as a veteran," he said.
That changed after he was urged to join the student senate's Student Ambassador Program and was given the task to find a way to reach out to students who were also veterans, because as he said, "I wasn't the only one seeing the problem; the school did, too."
The 26-year old Cody first proposed the idea for the memorial at the end of 2013.
"The memorial project is a gift from the students and our community to veterans both on and off campus, so we wanted to have the original design come from our students as well," he said.
More than 50 submissions were entered for consideration and "we were blown away by the creativity and thoughtfulness put into each design," said Cody.
The final design includes elements of eagle wings, raised hands holding a set of dog tags and a folded American flag. Those elements came from designs submitted by students
"(The project) is definitely a priority for the college," Dietsch said. "We're always looking for ways to engage students and to connect with all students.
"We think it's going to be a nice way to tie the students together with the community at-large," she added. "It's a 100 percent student project."
She added in the last year, the college has established a new veterans affairs position that led to a one-stop point-of-contact to help veterans who become
Cody said response to the project has been very good.
"It's been a fantastic welcoming of it," Cody said, adding it has led to a number of people sharing stories of those who have served in the military.
The sale of
The next step is raising
Dietsch said the memorial will be placed behind the
The goal is to dedicate the memorial on this year's
"Hopefully, it's the first of a number of public art displays on the campus," Dietsch added.
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