Marines Not Welcome at University of Washington

The student government at the University of Washington decides against a campus memorial to alumnus and World War II veteran Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington.

The resolution failed by one vote after students debated the proposed memorial, according to the P-I Reporter.

Public reaction to the board’s decision has escalated after some of the comments made by members were revealed.

One student questioned if a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the type of person the university would want to produce; moreover, another student asserted that the university already has monuments that commemorate rich white men.

The students say their comments in last week’s student senate meeting were taken out of context and that the minutes posted online — and passed on through e-mails and blogs — did not reflect the nature of the meeting reports the P-I Reporter.

“Andrew Everett, a UW senior and former Air Force weather forecaster, wanted to recognize UW alumni who had received the Medal of Honor and thought he would start with the most famous, Boyington, whose time as a pilot was portrayed in the TV series "Baa Baa Black Sheep."

He sponsored a resolution at the student senate meeting Feb. 7 to create a memorial for Boyington, who also was imprisoned in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.”

Brent Ludeman, the president of the UW College Republicans tells John Fund of the Opinion Journal that Boyington (who died in 1988) was neither rich nor white. He happened to be a Sioux Indian, who wound up raising his three children as a single parent.

The P-I Reporter goes on to report that the student government will now consider supporting the creation of a memorial honoring all of the university’s Medal of Honor winners, which include at least three other men with ties to the University of Washington.