September 22, 2004 — Heroes come in many different forms, each with their own unique contribution to society, but too often they are forgotten. Now there is place where the University of Utah’s heroes can be honored and remembered each day as people pass by. The U will dedicate what it simply calls The Walkway, Saturday, Sept. 25 at 11:15 a.m. The ceremony will be held at the site of the commemorative footpath on the east side of the George S. Eccles Legacy Bridge at Fort Douglas and will be preceded by an open house beginning at 10:30 a.m. Refreshments will be served.
The Walkway, designed of red sandstone to mirror the historic setting of the Fort, connects Fort Douglas to lower campus. Its main feature is a row of beautiful copper plaques adjacent to the walkway which will pay tribute to heroes, friends, and family with ties to the University. Many of those honored have served in the military or made a contribution to the school in some meaningful way.
The Walkway was funded by a generous grant from the Katherine W. & Ezekiel R. Dumke, Jr. Foundation. Loved ones of those honored were encouraged to make a donation upon requesting a plaque. All proceeds will support the Fort Douglas Heritage Commons campaign. That fundraising effort has been responsible for the major restoration of Fort Douglas, including the Officer’s Club, Commander’s Home, Officer’s Circle, Post Chapel, Post Theatre, and Bandstand.
Funding from the plaques will also help support the new Honors Center located on Stillwell Field. The Center will become the home to the U’s thousands of students participating in one of the nation’s oldest Honors programs, which combines inspiring teachers and dedicated students to provide an “ivy league” education.
The dedication will unveil the first 100 plaques. There is space for approximately 700 more. This is the beginning of a legacy which the University hopes will last for decades to come. After plaques fill the existing space, new walls will be constructed, stretching The Walkway from Presidents Circle east to Red Butte Garden.
Behind every plaque on the wall there is a story. Below are some examples of people being honored. Family and friends of these heroes will be in attendance at the dedication ceremony.
1. Cdr Dale Harrison Osborne “The Man Who Wouldn’t Die”-
two military friends got together to recognize Dale for his outstanding courage. These two friends, their spouses and others will be attending the ceremony to honor CDR Osborne, who will also be in attendance.
2. Robert Steensma requested a plaque to honor his family. He then added a plaque to memorialize Brendan Thompson, his grandson who died at age six. 19 family members and friends will be attending the ceremony.
3. Colonel Ottis M. Plant is being honored by his family for his exemplary service in the armed forces. Col. Plant was responsible for obtaining the “Thunder Ute” cannon fired after touchdowns.
4. Mrs. Diana Felt is honoring her husband, William L. Felt. They were married in the Post Chapel in 1944. Her two sons will be attending the ceremony.
5. Kay and Allan Lipman (Chairs of the Fort Douglas Campaign), are honoring Kay’s parents, M/Sgt. Burman and Elaine Winston, who lived at Fort Douglas from 1952 and 1956. Kay will emcee the ceremony.
6. Maurine McDonald is bringing fifteen guests, including grandchildren, to pay tribute to CDR Gordon A. Sherwood, a World War II hero.