Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1996-1997 index

Distributed May 8, 1997
Contact: Scott Turner

Commencement 1997

Veterans invited to join ceremonies unveiling Brown's new war memorial

A procession of veterans escorted by the U.S. Navy Band is one of several activities planned for the unveiling of a new war memorial, Sunday morning, May 25, 1997, on the Brown University campus. The monument will honor the 205 Brown alumni who died during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Veterans of all wars and all branches of military service are invited to participate in a procession on Sunday morning, May 25, 1997, to dedicate a new war memorial on the Brown University campus. The memorial is located at the site of Soldier's Arch on Thayer Street, between Waterman and George streets.

The procession will form at 8:45 a.m. in front of the Sciences Library on Thayer Street at Waterman. The group will join the U.S. Navy Band and members of the Brown classes of 1942 and 1947, before advancing to the site.

The war memorial will honor the 205 Brown alumni who died during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. It will be located on both sides of the walkway inside Soldiers Arch, which was dedicated in 1921 to honor the 42 Brown students and one faculty member who died in World War I. During the procession, the University Hall bell will toll for each of the 248 Brown people killed in the wars.

The memorial was designed by Richard Fleischner, an internationally acclaimed sculptor and environmental artist. The memorial includes a long bench of polished granite, an 11-foot granite column and an eight-foot-long marble mass with a perpendicular interlocking section of bronze lattice. The names of the 205 Brown alumni who died during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War will be inscribed on the marble slab.

The site will be planted with a variety of flowering trees and shrubs, with climbing roses at the lattice base. Additional lighting will be installed at a later date.

Ceremonies to dedicate the memorial and rededicate Soldiers Arch will begin at 9:30 a.m. Speakers will include Brown President Vartan Gregorian; Joseph Weisberger, Class of 1942, chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, who served five years in the U.S. Navy, and whose father served in World War I and World War II; Sen. John Chafee, a decorated Marine captain and former secretary of the Navy, who served in World War II and the Korean War; and Dr. Robert T. Steinsieck, Class of 1941, who served as a physician in the U.S. Army, and whose son, Robert T. Steinsieck Jr., Class of 1968, died in Vietnam. The younger Steinsieck's name will be inscribed on the memorial.

The speakers, each accompanied by a uniformed member of the armed forces, will lay wreaths at the war memorial. A wreath will be placed at Soldier's Arch by Elizabeth Tillinghast Nadeau, Brown Class of 1961, in memory of her grandfather, Henri Ferdinand Micoleau, the first Brown-affiliated person killed in World War I. Nadeau will be representing her mother, Lisette Tillinghast, who is Micoleau's daughter. Micoleau, a French citizen, was a member of the Brown faculty who returned to Europe to serve in the French Army. Nadeau, mother of three Brown graduates, is the daughter of Charles C. Tillinghast Jr., Class of 1932, a senior fellow and former chancellor at Brown.

Assistant University Chaplain Deborah Blanks, a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve, will offer prayers.

"A memorial must accomplish all the things one seeks in a memorial that pays respect to those who have given their lives in war," said Fleischner, a Rhode Island School of Design graduate and former member of the Brown faculty. "But memorials are also places where people can go and think, where they will feel comfortable gathering, sitting, conversing."

Overall, 178 Brown alumni died in World War II, seven in Korea and 20 in Vietnam.

For more information, call (401) 863-3450.