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Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks during a dedication ceremony at the John W. Warner Center for Advanced Military Studies at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Aug. 7, 2015. The ceremony honored both Brig. Gen. Edwin H. Simmons and John W. Warner, both of whom played an integral role in improving military education during their careers.

Photo by Sgt. Terry Brady

Marine Corps University dedicates building to Warner, Simmons

7 Aug 2015 | Sgt. Terry Brady The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

More than 600 students and faculty of the Marine Corps University attended a dedication ceremony Aug. 7, at the John W. Warner Center for Advanced Military Studies at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

Founded in 1989 by Gen. Alfred M. Gray, Jr. (Ret.), the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps, the university has been the location for the Marine Corps to develop military leaders in the knowledge of war.

The event honored the accomplishments and efforts of both John W. Warner, a retired Marine, former Secretary of the Navy from 1972-1974 and former U.S. Senator of Virginia, in which the John W. Warner Center for Advanced Military Studies was named after, and Brig. Gen. Edwin H. Simmons, who will have the Marine Corps History Division of the building named in his honor. Simmons, who passed away May 5, 2007, was renown for being a Marine Corps historian, nicknamed the “Collective Memory of the Marine Corps.”

“It’s my pleasure to welcome you as we commemorate this milestone and honor the memory of one great Marine and the living legacy of another, ” said Brig. Gen. Helen G. Pratt, president, Marine Corps University. “Twenty-two years ago, the Gray Research Center dramatically expanded the resourcing capabilities of the university. Warner Hall and the Simmons Center will further transform us into a modern center of learning.”

Gen.Joseph F. Dunford, the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps, joined retired Generals James F. Amos, James L. Jones, and Alfred M. Gray, Jr., former commandants of the Marine Corps, to commend the contributions Warner and Simmons have made to the Marine Corps.

During his career as senator, Warner sponsored the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 in order to update and improve the G.I. Bill, expanding the educational benefits to veterans who served in the military since September 11, 2001.

“Warner has graciously allowed us to dedicate this building in his honor,” said Dunford. “Today we recognize the totality of Warner’s service both in and out of uniform. I think it is also appropriate to have your name with Gen. Gray and Gen. Simmons. The intersections of this building match the intersections of your career.”

Clarke Simmons, son of Brig. Gen. Simmons, spoke about his father’s accomplishments, including his tenure as the director of the Marine Corps History Division, occupying the role while on active duty and once retired from active duty, he stayed on as director. In all he was the division’s director from 1971-1996.

“Under his leadership, the Marine Corps historical program set the highest standard,” said Simmons. “Upon his retirement in 1996, he was made Director Emeritus and had served the Marine Corps for 53 years.”

During the ceremony, a portrait of Edwin Simmons was unveiled, symbolizing the legacy that will be carried on by preserving the remnants of the Marine Corps past.

“John Warner and my father were friends, colleagues and fellow Marines for 40 years, working together to advance their beloved Corps,” said Simmons. “Having the Simmons Historical Center housed inside of the Warner [Center] is tremendous.”