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  • Honoring Our Veterans
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  • Honoring Our Veterans

    Library stained glass windows memorialize World War I soldiers

    In honor of Veteran’s Day, MSUM took a look into the history of their World War I memorial.

    The stained glass windows hanging in the Livingston Lord Library are a staple on MSUM’s campus. However, most people probably don’t know why they are there.

    University archivist, Terry Shoptaugh has studied the history of these windows, uncovering some information. Yet, mystery still lingers.

    During World War I about 16 men from Moorhead Normal School, today Minnesota State University Moorhead, fought and a few of them died. In honor of these soldiers, the classes of 1919 and 1920 donated money to build a memorial.

    Mary Brumby, the college’s art instructor at the time, designed the windows to be symbolic. Each window represents different attributes, “undying loyalty,” “service,” and “self-sacrifice.”

    “Rumor has it that three students modeled for this,” Shoptaugh said. “One time I sat and looked through the yearbooks and tried to figure out who the models were. But when you really look at it, they are pretty stylized and it could be anybody.”

    The windows were originally placed in the auditorium in Weld Hall behind the stage. When daylight shined through the colored glass, the auditorium lit up with colorful light.

    In 1969 Weld Hall was remodeled.

    “I can’t tell you when exactly they took out the windows and filled in the empty space with wall,” Shoptaugh said. “But the windows were removed and put into storage.”

    It wasn’t until the early ‘80s that the windows were rediscovered in the basement of Weld. In 1986, MSUM President Roland Dille had the windows reconditioned for the University’s Centennial and they were put back on public display above the MSUM library’s reference desk, where they are today.

    Now the library is undergoing an extensive renovation and soon the stained glass windows will be moved to a location yet to be determined. The University will preserve the windows to continue to honor and thank those who fought for our freedom.