University of Iowa recognizes six service members at Hawkeye Distinguished Veterans Awards

The University of Iowa honored six veterans with Hawkeye ties at the Hawkeye Distinguished Veterans Awards on Thursday.


Abby Watkins

Harold “Hal” Jackson accepts his award on Thursday at the Hawkeye Distinguished Veterans Awards. Jackson servied in the U.S. Air Force from 1950 to 1954. After his service Jackson became a pharmacist and worked with the University of Iowa Collge of Pharmacy.

Lauren White, News Reporter

As part of recognizing veterans’ services to the country, the University of Iowa held an award ceremony to honor six veterans with strong Hawkeye connections.

The main lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union was filled with active duty and veteran service members on Thursday as six UI alumni and faculty who have served their country in various roles were honored as Hawkeye Distinguished Veterans Award recipients.

Matt Miller, a program director with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the UI, said that criteria for this award include having served honorably, military accomplishments, and service to the community.

The Hawkeye Distinguished Veterans Awards began in 2015 and has since recognized 29 veterans. Recipients are nominated by anyone who was inspired by them or those who thought they deserved the award.

The 2019 award recipients were: Dr. Kathleen Buckwalter of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, Larry Hershberger of the U.S. Marine Corps, Harold Jackson of the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Julie A. Stanik-Hutt of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, George L. Stout of the U.S. Army, and Dr. Maurice Wright Van Allen of the U.S. Army Medical Corps.

Stout and Van Allen were unable to receive their awards themselves, so their family members accepted them on their behalf.

Award recipient Buckwalter offered over three decades of service at the UI through her research in geropsychiatric nursing and long-term care. In 1971, she said, the Navy was short on nurses, so she stepped up to help and was eventually stationed in Guam.

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“We took care of anyone that needed it, even when our bed capacity was 122 and we had more than double that who needed our help,” Buckwalter said. “It was an adventure from the start, but we worked hard.”

Hershberger, the former director of the UI Tippie College of Business’ Emmett J. Vaughan Institute of Risk Management and Insurance, served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War era from 1966 to 1973.

In an effort to serve the UI and his country throughout his life, Hershberger established an endowed scholarship for student veterans to recognize their service.

Jackson served in the U.S. Air Force from 1950 to 1954 during the Korean War and did photography over enemy lines from a B-52 bomber and was humbled by his experience, he said.

“Through my military career, I have been able to use what I learned to further serve my community and pharmaceutical career,” Jackson said.

Stanik-Hutt got her nursing degree from the UI and enlisted in the Nurses Corp during a time that women had a more difficult time doing so.

“Whether or not you support the war, we all agreed that the military personnel deserve good care, so I aimed to do just that,” Stanik-Hutt said.

The award ceremony was sponsored by the UI Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC programs; Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Division of Student Life; Iowa Memorial Union; Office of the Registrar; and Military and Veteran Student Services.

Peter Domiano, emcee of the event and director of UI Public Policy Center, said that these recipients learned the meaning of service through the military and have carried that service throughout the other aspects of their lives.

“All six of them are the types of people that you would expect to be honored for their service and passion to the community. They show what service is and what it looks like,” Domiano said.

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