Dedicated November 23, 1996, the San Diego State University War Memorial was commissioned and funded by the SDSU Alumni Association's War Memorial Committee. Located just west of the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union and north of the campus trolley station, it is recognized as one of the few free-standing tributes of its kind on a college campus in the United States.

The monument is a three-sided reinforced concrete monolith faced with Sierra White granite standing 25 feet high. The sleek column, its broken and jagged top symbolizing untimely death, was designed by former SDSU art professor Jesus Dominguez. Its three sides are etched with the names of 239 former San Diego State students lost in service to their country during military conflicts: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Supreme Sacrifice, Extraordinary Service

Profiles of SDSU Military Alumni

SDSU War Memorial

According to research completed in 2006 by historian and SDSU librarian Robert Fikes, almost half of those listed on the monument were pilots. Nearly a third were married and the average age at death was 25.6 years. The three youngest casualties were all age 19 and the oldest was 41. Among them are two Hispanic Americans, one Asian American, one African American, one Native American, and four who were born in foreign countries.

Fikes' research report says the monument presently "lists not only the names of alumni killed on the front lines of battle, but also those who died mostly in accidents both here and abroad while on active duty."

The research also reveals some interesting quirks in the memorial. Besides some inconsistencies in the spellings of names, Fikes found three alumni listed as dead who were still living when the monument was erected and two with no record of military service.

Supreme Sacrifice, Extraordinary Service: Profiles of SDSU Military Alumni (.pdf, updated 2016).

War Memorial News

Honoring Their Sacrifices
Honoring Their SacrificesNovember 8, 2016
Family members and friends are among those paying tribute to SDSU’s veteran alumni who died during military service.
Honoring Veteran Alumni
Honoring Veteran AlumniOctober 5, 2016
The 20th annual ceremony honoring SDSU’s veteran alumni who died in service to our country is set for 9:30 a.m. November 4.
Digitized!May 4, 2016
A one-of-a-kind SDSU Library collection could be a bonanza for researchers worldwide.
Jagged Edges
Jagged EdgesFebruary 15, 2016
A recent installation explains the meaning behind a prominent campus tribute.
The Search for Steve Joyner
The Search for Steve JoynerFebruary 3, 2016
In 1968, Dan Moore met a young San Diego State alumnus in Japan who would soon become a casualty of the Vietnam War. Half a century later, he’s asking for help to better determine who his friend really was.
A Pilot and a SEAL
A Pilot and a SEALNovember 4, 2015
The names of Kenneth Lamberton and Matt Axelson will be added to SDSU’s War Memorial this month. One flew an historic mission, the other died on a secret assignment that became the subject of a best-selling book and popular movie.
“For Her and My Brother”
SDSU was a school they could never attend, but a loving son and brother ensures they’re forever remembered on campus.
Veterans Day 2014
Veterans Day 2014November 10, 2014
As our nation salutes its veterans on November 11, SDSU honors its own. (video)
Sharing Secrets
Sharing SecretsNovember 5, 2014
A blast so bright he could see his own bones – then a rain of irradiated debris. For decades Dan Leonard (’61) could not speak about what he had witnessed. Now he shares his story at SDSU.
Sacred Duty
Sacred DutyNovember 5, 2014
Almost 70 years ago, aviator and inventor Clinton B. Gaty took off on a flight and never returned.  His recently uncovered heroics have earned his name a permanent place on campus.
War Memorial Enhancements
New benches installed at the campus War Memorial match the monument’s design aesthetic.
A Lifetime of Service
A Lifetime of ServiceNovember 6, 2013
Robert Cardenas was a 19-year old San Diego State student when he embarked on a career of service that has lasted a lifetime.
A Different Kind of Homecoming
Billy Wood and Isaac Best are coming back to San Diego State this month, but not in a way either one might ever have expected. 
“A Love Story That Ended Too Early”
More than 70 years after Robert Harvey and Mary Louise Thompson met and fell in love at San Diego State, their children returned to campus for a solemn ceremony and surprising discovery.
A Human Story
A Human StoryOctober 3, 2012
An exhibit depicts how, in the 1940s, a dedicated geography professor and his Montezuma Mesa-based newsletter formed a communication network that reached around the world to keep Aztecs connected during wartime.
“So He Isn’t Forgotten”
“So He Isn’t Forgotten”September 5, 2012
It's been 60 years since the plane Carlynne Allbee’s (’71) father was piloting went down in the East China Sea. So why did it take so long to add his name to the War Memorial and how did she manage to finally get Robert G. Harvey enshrined on the campus monument? 
Names Added To War Memorial
Two more names were added to the SDSU War Memorial that stands as a tribute to Aztecs who died in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.