If you drive through TCU on University Drive today, you will pass a memorial to those who fell in combat: the Memorial Columns in Veterans Plaza.
In 1923 members of TCU’s senior class contributed money by subscription to build a memorial to students and alumni killed in World War I and subsequent wars.
This plaque at the memorial lists the members of the class of 1923.
Only three TCU men were killed in that first world war: J. Aubrey Cooper, Herndon Hardwick, and Milus Little Jr.
The Star-Telegram, in reporting Cooper’s death, said he was the first Fort Worth soldier to die in the war on July 19, 1918.
Cooper is buried in Greenwood Cemetery.
These words by General Pershing are on the back of Cooper’s tombstone.
A generation later, along came a new world war and a new plaque. Sixty-four students or alumni died in World War II.
In 2005 Veterans Plaza was built around the original memorial to honor the war sacrifices of all alumni and students.
This plaque was added to the plaza in 2006.
The Memorial Columns originally were the Memorial Arch. In 1948 University Drive was widened. The Memorial Arch was moved back and downsized. The horizontal element was removed, and the arch became columns. This photo shows the original Memorial Arch, brick with limestone Ionic columns, as seen looking east toward University Drive. (Photo courtesy of Mary Couts Burnett Library Special Collections.)
Tomorrow: The Old Iron Bridge: Resting, Not Rusting