U-Idaho Veterans Center Dedicated to Bear the Name of Top Marine
The University of Idaho honored its spring commencement speaker -- Gen. James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps – when it dedicated its new Veterans Center in his name during a ceremony in May.
Amos, his wife Bonnie, and former President and Mrs. Duane Nellis attended the ceremony.
Officials lifted a camouflage cover over a sign to formally open the General James F. Amos Veterans Center, in the Idaho Commons on the Moscow campus.
In addition, an etched plaque with Amos’ official portrait and four raised silver stars -- signifying his rank as the senior Marine and leader of the Marine Corps – was unveiled.
Student veterans, active duty and reserve servicemen and women joined faculty, staff and administrators for the event.
Amos used self-deprecating humor in his acceptance remarks. “When I was here as a student, I have to tell you, I wasn’t the best student. If someone told me after my graduation in 1970 that I might have something named after me, I’d have thought it more likely to be a reform school.”
U-Idaho Veterans Advisor and retired Marine Lt. Col. Dan Button drew parallels between the center and Corps. “Comparatively small by overall square footage, our Veterans Center is a strategic asset, strategically placed, that responds, punches, and fights heavier than its size and weight. It’s in an ideal spot – located near offices of Academic Assistance, Disability Services, the Writing Center, Career Services and not too far from the “chow hall” downstairs,” he said.
University Veterans Club President and student Aaron Willeford presented Amos with a keepsake replica plaque, a framed certificate and a club polo shirt designating Amos as a Vet’s Club “honorary officer.”
Amos took extra time from his schedule to visit with attendees before moving to his next event, a visit to the recently upgraded War Memorial Gymnasium foyer. It’s been refurbished and now displays a carved, painted seal of the United States and five large military service plaques and flags near the bronze plaques with names of university and Idaho servicemen and women who gave their all in previous conflicts.