New Plaques Dedicated at the Memorial Gateway Four Washington and Lee alumni were honored on Friday, Oct. 21, during a ceremony dedicating the installation of three plaques on the university’s Memorial Gateway.
Washington and Lee University honored four of its alumni on Friday, Oct. 21 during a ceremony dedicating the installation of three plaques on Washington and Lee’s Memorial Gateway in conjunction with the fall meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees. The plaques had previously been displayed in the University Chapel and were moved to the structure at the Jefferson Street entrance to campus to be displayed with other plaques honoring U.S. veterans.
James Howard Monroe ’66 was killed in action as a combat medic in Vietnam in 1967 and is a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the U.S. military’s highest award for valor. Kiffin Yates Rockwell, an internationally renowned aviator, was killed in aerial combat over Alsace, France in 1916. Clovis Moomaw, a member of the Law School Class of 1912, shares a plaque with James Arthur Lingle Jr., Law School Class of 1915, that was donated to W&L to honor their service during World War I by the Sigma Society.
The Memorial Gateway contains plaques honoring members of the Washington and Lee community who served in World Wars I and II, wars in Afghanistan, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf, and two alumni who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. W&L Rector Mike McAlevey ’86 and President Will Dudley gave remarks at the event.
The plaques had been painted white as part of an interior redesign of the chapel during the 1960s. Noted metal restoration expert Steve Roy was able to restore the plaques to their original bronze. Several other plaques have been removed from University Chapel in order to prepare them for use in future museum exhibits. The Liberty Hall Volunteers plaque, which commemorates students as well as local volunteers who fought for the Confederacy, will be contextualized as part of the new exhibit currently being planned for the gallery on the upper level of the chapel annex, adjacent to the recumbent Lee statue. The remaining plaques will be moved to the Chapel Galleries or into the new institutional history museum upon its completion.
“The plaques belong here; the names belong here,” McAlevey said. “They join the names of our fellow alumni who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.”
President Dudley said that the stories of those honored on the Memorial Gateway plaques embodied the motto inscribed above them, which reads “Not Self, But Country.”
“We owe them, and all those whose names appear here, our deepest thanks for their selfless service,” Dudley said. “Their stories represent the traits of leadership and service to others and citizenship that we prize as central to our institutional mission. It is a privilege for us to bring these stories forward as part of our commitment to presenting the university’s history in its fullness.”