Office of the President

November 10, 2020

A day to reflect and honor those who served

Ana Mari Cauce

November 11 is Veterans Day, a moment for our nation and University to pause and honor those who have served the United States as members of the armed forces. Among them are many University of Washington students, faculty, staff and alumni. Tomorrow’s holiday is an opportunity to reflect on their extraordinary contributions — both in uniform and in civilian life — and to consider what more we can do to ensure that they are welcomed and valued at the UW.

This year, the pandemic prevents us from holding an in-person ceremony or many of the other events that are usually part of Veterans Appreciation Week, but I invite you to watch this video tribute to our service members.

Veterans Day is also when we recognize our Distinguished Alumni Veteran Award (DAVA) recipient, who this year is Admiral William Center, ’78. As you can see in our video tribute, Admiral Center has devoted his life to public and community service. After a 35-year career in the Navy, during which he rose to command Navy Region Northwest and served as an adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Center has remained committed to public service. He has taught and mentored UW students at the Evans and Foster schools and has brought his leadership and expertise to numerous nonprofits as part of his personal mission to help eradicate global poverty. We are honored to call him a Husky and to recognize him as this year’s DAVA recipient.

To all who have served and are serving, we thank you, and we commit ourselves to ensuring that your sacrifices — and the sacrifices of your loved ones — are recognized and appreciated. We are here to support you on all three campuses, through the UW Bothell Veterans Center, the Office of Student Veteran Life in Seattle and the UW Tacoma Veteran and Military Resource Center.

In this incredibly challenging year, which has contained so much sadness and loss, let us use this Veterans Day to renew our commitment to those who have put service to country first. Let’s ensure that their bravery and dedication is reflected in the vibrant and resilient republic that we continue to build together.