The Flag Pavilion at Saint Martin’s University: Commemorating the Military Community for Years to Come

saint martins veterans
Saint Martin's University President Roy Heynderickx ties a yellow ribbon around a tree planted near the Flag Pavilion to honor active-duty military and veterans. Photo courtesy Meg Nugent Dwyer.


By Margo Greenman

flag saint martins
The new Flag Pavilion was dedicated in February at Saint Martin’s University. Photo courtesy Saint Martin’s.

Saint Martin’s University recently celebrated their inaugural Veterans Day Celebration at the University’s Flag Pavilion – a monument dedicated to honoring active-duty and veteran members of the military. The event – which featured the American Legion Band, Olympia’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 318 color guard, and an impressive crowd of spectators – marked the first of many Veterans Day Celebrations to come.

The idea for the Flag Pavilion came from Terry Monaghan ’62 – a Saint Martin’s University Board of Trustees member and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran – and his wife, Mary Louise ’60. One day while visiting the University, Monaghan and his wife realized there was no visible American flag anywhere on the campus. The couple believed it was important to have a place on campus to commemorate the brave men and women who defend our country, and so they proposed the idea for the Flag Pavilion. Unfortunately, lack of funding prevented the construction of the proposed Pavilion.

Passionate about the project, the Monaghans wanted to do something to help kick-start construction. Monaghan, who received his degree in civil engineering, made a rough sketch of his idea and presented it to Alan Tyler, the University’s director of facilities. The Monaghans decided they would finance the cost of construction after Tyler provided an estimate.

With the funding for the project secured, Tyler and his facilities team started on the Pavilion. Other than two graduate students who helped on the project, Tyler says, the entire Pavilion was designed and built internally by himself and the other eight people on his facilities crew. “It’s unique,” says Monaghan of the design. “We did some things that were different for us – made it five-sided, did some landscaping – we added longevity to it.”

saint martins veterans day
Former Saint Martin’s University President David Spangler was the key note speaker at the University’s Veterans Day event. Photo courtesy Meg Nugent Dwyer.

Located at the base of the Grand Staircase, just outside of Old Main and adjacent to the Jan Halliday Memorial Plaza, the Flag Pavilion is a beautiful monument commemorating the five branches of the military. Tyler says the pentagonal shape of the Pavilion mirrors that of the Pentagon, in Washington D.C.

The Flag Pavilion also represents the University’s longstanding military history. Saint Martin’s Alumni Association President Tom Barte says when he was a student at Saint Martin’s in the 1960s, he actually lived in an old army barracks. “I went to Saint Martin’s with a lot of veterans,” he says. “I remember being involved in a rally in 1966 at the State Capitol. The Vietnam War wasn’t very popular, but we had the rally to show our support for the troops.”

Barte explains the University saw an increased enrollment of military members during the 1970s and 1980s at the Saint Martin’s satellite campus at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). Saint Martin’s continues to provide the honorable JBLM community with on-base collegiate programs, providing opportunities to earn bachelor’s degrees in computer science, criminal justice, psychology, accounting, political science and business administration, as well as offering teacher education and certification programs.

saint martins veterans
Saint Martin’s University President Roy Heynderickx ties a yellow ribbon around a tree planted near the Flag Pavilion to honor active-duty military and veterans. Photo courtesy Meg Nugent Dwyer.

“We’re a very military-friendly University,” says Barte. “If you look around, you’ll see a lot of ‘bootstrappers’ and military students at our main campus and the JBLM campus.”

With a thriving military presence today and in years past, the Flag Pavilion helps complement the atmosphere at Saint Martin’s University by providing staff, students, alumni and the community with a place to recognize and honor veterans and active-duty members of the military.

“We don’t often provide enough praise to those people who serve our country,” says Monaghan. “This is a small token of our appreciation.”

For more information about Saint Martin’s University or the Flag Pavilion, visit Saint Martin’s University’s website.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email