Since 1946, Baylor’s memorial lampposts have honored those who served our country
As simple tributes to those who have gone before us, they are easy to miss or take for granted. But the 140-plus red granite lampposts scattered across Baylor’s campus are more than just utilitarian lighting — they are memorials to those who have served our country, including many who gave their lives in action.
The first such lampposts were dedicated in 1946 during a ceremony at Waco Hall, just a year after the conclusion of World War II. More than 4,000 Baylor men and women served during WWII, and 125 of them lost their lives doing so. Baylor psychology professor Anna Martin suggested honoring the fallen with lamps.
Over the last 70 years, other names have been added on lampposts around campus to memorialize those who have served the United States through military, government or other notable public service. People who served in such a manner are recognized with a rectangle-shaped plaque; those were killed in action are honored with a plaque in the shape of a military shield.
If you’re interested in learning more about the individuals honored on these lampposts, check out Soldiers of the Wooden Cross: Military Memorials of Baylor University. A 15-year labor of love compiled by Frank Jasek, BBA ’73, the book features 320 pages of family photos, hand-written letters and old newspaper articles that tell the story of each of the Baylor veterans honored across campus. Proceeds from the book benefit student scholarships.
Sic ’em, veterans!