For 75 years now, 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 140+ of the 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.
These lampposts have now been a part of campus for 75 years. The first were dedicated in a ceremony at Waco Hall on Oct. 25, 1946, 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.
Since then, 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’ve ever seen a name on a lamppost and wondered more about the individual it honors, you’re not alone. Frank Jasek (BBA ’73) wondered the same thing — and wrote a book to tell their stories. Soldiers of the Wooden Cross: Military Memorials of Baylor University is a 15-year labor of love that features 320 pages of family photos, hand-written letters and old newspaper articles about the Baylor veterans honored across campus. Proceeds from the book benefit student scholarships.
Sic ’em, veterans!