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Campus & Community

Drexel Honors 872 Student Veterans With Annual Flag Display

November 9, 2018

Flags.

For the second year in a row, Drexel University is recognizing the 872 veterans currently enrolled as students in a very big way.

A giant rectangle composed of exactly that number of American flags was recently installed on the lawn on the north end of Perelman Plaza on Drexel’s University City Campus as part of the programming for the annual Veterans Awareness Week leading up to Veterans Day.

Installed on Nov. 8, the flags were arranged in rows of 43 rows of 20 flags, with the remaining 12 flags filling out the last row. Each flag, spread out two feet away from its neighboring flag, represented a current undergraduate or graduate student-veteran who has served the country. The installation will be up for a few days after Veterans Day.

The decision to host the installation honoring student veterans was easy to make, according to Rebecca Weidensaul, PhD, assistant vice president in Student Life who oversees the Office of Veteran Student Services, which supports veterans currently enrolled or employed at the University. When she talked to colleagues in University Facilities and Real Estate, Campus Services and Public Safety about replicating the flag installation, they were overwhelmingly on board, she said.

The Office of Veteran Services has traditionally offered a wide variety of programming for Dragons in the days leading up to Veterans Day, though this is the second year that it has coordinated the creation of a vivid, attention-grabbing flag display to represent the University’s support for its student-veterans.

“It was such a beautiful and meaningful optic on our campus last year and I genuinely believe it generated a sense of pride on campus and our surrounding community,” said Weidensaul.

Last year’s design featured a 100-by-40-foot rectangle composed of 50 rows of 18 flags, with seven extras left on the end to fully account for the 907 student-veterans. This year’s design is similar in layout, with the number of flags changed to represent the change in enrolled Dragon veterans.

“I thought the scale fit really well in the space and made a large impact — which is the goal!” said Scott Dunham, assistant director of the Grounds Department in the Office of University Facilities and Real Estate.

Members of the Grounds crew installed the flags as the sun was rising on the morning of Nov. 8, and the flags remained in place until Nov. 12. The display was also illuminated at night, so passerby could see the display during night and day.

Drexel is nationally recognized as a military-friendly school through its participation in the GI Bill's® Yellow Ribbon Program, and its rich military history is further emphasized through the fact that this year is the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, which is now known as Task Force Dragon.

To support the Office of Veterans Student Services, click here to help provide Drexel’s student veterans with the opportunities and resources they can benefit from to succeed during their time at the University.

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