Fresno State football coach Tim DeRuyter, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, will deliver keynote remarks for the Fresno State Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 10 at the Rose Garden, southeast of the Thomas Administration Building.
The ceremony will feature a rededication of the Fresno State Veterans Monument that has been moved from its former home at the corner of Shaw and Cedar avenues to the east end of the Rose Garden. The monument was originally dedicated in 1960 to “Fresno State College students who died in service of our country.”
Sponsored by the Fresno State Student Veterans Organization and the Veterans Services Office with assistance from the Omega Delta Sigma fraternity, the event will also kick off the U.S. Marines’ annual campus Toys for Tots drive.
The campus is closed on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, when the Fresno State Bulldog Marching Band will lead the Fresno Veterans Parade in downtown Fresno.
The 16-ton monument’s new location also includes lighting and landscaping improvements with a rededication plaque.
A plaque formerly located in the Rose Garden honoring alumni who served in World War I will also be relocated adjacent to the monument. Other memorials nearby include the Submarine Memorial on the Maple Mall (in remembrance of U.S. subs lost during World War II and the Cold War) and Memorial Court (dedicated to Fresno State students who lost their lives in war).
The Veterans Monument move is the final part of Fresno State’s wayfinding signage project that brought over 900 pedestrian, vehicle and parking signs to the campus as well as new campus entrance signs at the intersections of Cedar and Shaw avenues, Barstow and Cedar avenues and Shaw and Maple avenues.
At Monday’s observance, the Fresno State Army ROTC Bulldog Battalion will present the colors and the invocation will be recited by Chaplin Clayton Diltz.
Jonathan Rumsey, president of the Student Veterans Organization, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Lorilynn Alamano from the Fresno State Police Department will sing the national anthem. Moses Menchaca, Fresno State student body president, will deliver welcome remarks. Valerie Elizabeth Loera will sing “My Country Tis of Thee,” “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.”
Diltz will close with the benediction before the Bulldog Battalion retires colors.
DeRuyter, 51, who became the Bulldogs’ head football coach Dec. 14, 2011, served seven-and-a-half years of active duty in the Air Force after graduating from the Air Force Academy in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in management. The Long Beach native also earned an MBA in market strategy from Regis University in 1992.
His football coaching career began in 1985 at the Air Force Academy where he served as a second lieutenant and graduate assistant football coach. After a three-year stint as a contracting officer at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts, he returned to Air Force in 1989 where he served as the JV defensive coordinator and varsity assistant.
In his two-plus seasons at Fresno State, DeRuyter led the football program to back-to-back Mountain West championships, a 23-12 record and as high as a No. 13 national ranking in 2013.
DeRuyter and his wife, Kara, have a son, Jake, a senior at the Air Force Academy, and a daughter, Christina, a sophomore at Texas A&M.
For Tuesday’s 11 a.m. Veterans Day Parade in downtown Fresno, also participating will be the university’s Army ROTC Bulldog Battalion and the Air Force ROTC, the Veterans Education Program, student veterans organizations SVO and the Omega Delta Sigma fraternity and Fresno State nursing alumni riding the Central California Center for Excellence in Nursing car.
The parade is aired on KSEE24-NBC and by the Armed Forces Network worldwide to all military bases and posts.
For more information about the Veterans Monument relocation project, contact Thomas Gaffery, project manager, at 559.278.7317. For the campus Veterans Day activities, contact Rumsey at 559.278.7030.