This W-shaped drive runs from West Campus Road east to Mississippi Street north of Snow, Strong and Bailey halls. It was designed to complement the Memorial Campanile, honoring the 277 KU alumni, students, faculty and staff who died in World War II and the more than 7,000 who served.
As World War II ended, the sentiment grew for an enduring memorial. Chancellor Deane Malott, expressing the concerns of the alumni memorial committee and others, wrote: “The stadium was built as a World War I memorial. No one thinks, as he sits in it, about the sacrifices of several score of young men of this institution who lost their lives in that struggle. We have been determined this time that we would have a memorial, and not merely use that as an excuse to fill a need at the university.”
A campanile and carillon and the scenic drive wrapping them combined two of 17 suggestions the committee considered. Hare and Hare Landscape Architects of Kansas City designed the curving drive to follow the crest of Mount Oread above Marvin Grove and Potter Lake.
J.C. Nichols, a 1902 alumnus and developer of the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, was a member of the committee, He noted that the drive presented “unlimited opportunity through the years for the placement of desirable memorials, locations for gifts of outdoor objects of art and other items of beautification.” Two such commemorative works have been added to the drive: the Vietnam War Memorial and the Korean War Memorial.