Campus News

UK to Host Veterans Day Celebration

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In addition to the in-person ceremony at the Gatton Student Center, a virtual option is also now available at 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 8, 2021) — The University of Kentucky will host its annual Veterans Day celebration to pay tribute to the sacrifices made and courage displayed by our veterans.

Organized by the UK Veterans Resource Center and the UK Student Veterans Association, the ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in the Gatton Student Center Harris Ballroom. Doors open at 11 a.m. The entire campus community is invited.

For those who cannot attend the in-person ceremony, a virtual option is available at 

Among the speakers will be university administrators and Aydin Chester, president of the UK Student Veterans Association.

“On Veterans Day, we recognize America’s veterans for the selfless service they’ve provided our country so that we may live free," said Chester, who is a junior in the Gatton College of Business and Economics. "We do things like pursue an education, build careers and raise families in a free country all because of the sacrifices our nation’s military has made. (This Veteran's Day), we recognize that the veterans here at UK aren’t just former service-members, but also Wildcats. Thank you for your commitment to our nation and thank you for your service!” 

A keynote will be delivered by Wesley Coffman, D.M.D., an assistant professor in the UK College of Dentistry. Before pursuing his career in dentistry, Coffman was honorably discharged after four years of service in the U.S. Army, where he served a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot and earned the Bronze Star. In his talk on Thursday, Coffman will discuss his experience with the draft, the Vietnam war and the benefits of having served. He will also discuss patriotism and how everyone can do small things to make the country better. 

Lapel pins representing the various branches of service will be distributed, and a chili lunch will follow the ceremony. 

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.