FDU Veterans Services Unveils Mural on the Metropolitan Campus

A mural depicts a veterans' journey. A man stands in front of the art, absorbing it.

FDU President Michael Avaltroni examines the new mural at the FDU Veterans Services offices.

November 9, 2023 — As a tribute to the bravery and sacrifices of our nation’s veterans, FDU’s Office of Veterans Services unveiled a new mural outside their offices on the Metropolitan Campus. The mural, named “Service and Camaraderie”, was painted by artist and founder of Claymore Vets, Maria Mia Salazar.

A man and a woman pose for a photo in front of a colorful mural.

President Michael Avaltroni, left, with Director of Veterans Services Martha Papson Garcia in front of the new veterans mural.

“The artist, Maria Mia Salazar, was able to capture the sentiment of service and camaraderie when designing this mural for us. The mural tells the story of a veteran’s journey from their enlistment in the military to the excitement of having a bright future upon earning their bachelor’s degree,” said Director of Veterans Services Martha Papson Garcia. “Within the mural, there are many symbols representing service and camaraderie, tradition, and hope for the future. The student veterans and I shared with the artist that we would like the mural to reflect service and camaraderie. The artist designed this mural and drew it on the wall for us. With the guidance of the artist, the student veterans painted this mural over two full days. The artist then completed the detailed work. It has been over two weeks since the mural has been covered and we cannot wait to share this work of art with the FDU community.”

Fairleigh Dickinson has long been at the forefront of efforts to help veterans. Since the University’s founding in 1942 and spurred by the first GI Bill, the University rallied around returning veterans and provided relevant academic programs that led to productive careers. We have continued this tradition, and today FDU is among the most veteran-friendly universities in New Jersey.

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About the Artist:

Maria Mia Salazar is a Peruvian-born sculptor, muralist, visual artist, poet, and writer. She served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2002-2011 and deployed to Iraq in 2003. She earned a degree in art therapy with a focus on ceramics and art history. Her sculptures have been exhibited at the Salmagundi Club, Art Fair 14C, The Banana Factory, St. Augustine Art Association, Van Der Plas Gallery, Curated Art Gallery, Columbia University, and the Sal Gallery. Salazar is the founder and executive director of Claymore Vets, a non-profit whose C4 mission is to “Cultivate a creative and connected community of Veterans, First Responders, and Artists to foster social reconnection and growth rooted in clay and visual arts.”

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