PLU honors service members and veterans

Join in the school’s 2019 Veterans Day Celebration

By Gary Lott on November 7, 2019

If you are looking to celebrate our nation's veterans, hear patriotic music, share a few laughs and get comfortable during a fireside reception with refreshments, then plan on attending the Pacific Lutheran University 2019 Veterans Day Celebration.

Everyone is invited to PLU as the school celebrates veterans and service members for Veterans Day. This year's event is Nov. 11 at Lagerquist Concert Hall, located in the Mary Baker Russell Building on campus.

The day's keynote speaker is PLU Director of Military Outreach Michael Farnum.  Sergeant First Class (Ret.), Farnum is an Army veteran of 23 years and served as a cavalry scout and a drill sergeant.

His duty assignments included Germany, Korea and Honduras, as well as combat deployments to the first Gulf War in 1991 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 (the first ever Stryker Brigade Combat Team out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, according to Farnum).

"PLU has had a strong relationship with our military community family since before World War 2," said Farnum. "In fact, our magazine, called the Mooring Mast, was named after the mooring mast for dirigible airships on McChord Field back in its first edition, published back on Oct. 29, 1924."

As an educational institution, Farnum feels it's important for PLU to celebrate our nation's veterans. He notes that celebrating and honoring veterans fits right in line with the school's mission goals, which state in part, PLU "seeks to educate students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care -- for other people, for their communities, and for the earth."

"Our veterans embody that mission statement," said Farnum. "We serve the nation. We are amazing leaders, and we care what happens to the earth and its inhabitants."

The celebration of that service and leadership will begin with music from an enormous custom-made pipe organ, followed by the posting of colors by the Lute Battalion ROTC Color Guard, the singing of the National Anthem and an invocation from Pastor Jen Rude. 

Next, welcoming remarks from PLU President Allan Belton will lead into the keynote speech by Farnum.

The playing of the "Armed Forces Medley" and "God Bless America" will close out the festivities.

"Our Mission at PLU's Center for Military Support is to provide military-affiliated personnel with the support and resources they need to succeed at PLU and beyond," said Farnum. "We envision a world where our military-affiliated graduates are key community leaders who inspire peaceful growth and stability the world over."

The Pacific Lutheran University 2019 Veterans Day Celebration, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Nov. 11, Lagerquist Concert Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Building, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Ave. S, Tacoma. Register at For more information, contact Michael Farnum at