November 08, 2013

Veterans Day Luncheon Honors All Who Served

ROTC cadets from the Air Force and Army

Wentworth alumni, students, faculty, and staff who are veterans of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Reserve Units, and National Guard, in addition to Wentworth’s Army and Air Force ROTC cadets, were invited to attend the Seventh Annual Veterans Day Luncheon, held November 8 in Watson Hall.

Conveying a message of banding together as one, keynote speaker Captain Anthony E. Vercollone, United States Marine Corps Reserve, gestured to a table of ROTC students present in the room and said, “This is the leadership table.” He then mentioned Shakespeare’s Henry V and the titular character’s inspirational speech to rally his troops. “Henry V was a ‘visionary leader,’ which is the second best type of leader,” he said hoping to inspire the table before him. “The best type is the ‘super leader,’ those who can lead themselves and lead others to lead themselves.” Possessing such a skill, said Vercollone, will aid a person in both battle and everyday life.

In earlier remarks, President Zorica Pantić recounted Wentworth’s long tradition of providing programs and classes for veterans, dating back to World War I when veterans were given lessons on how to smoothly transition into civilian life. Today, she said, the Institute continues its dedication to veterans through the Yellow Ribbon Program.

“We are dedicated to helping veterans who want to transition into civilian life and achieve career success,” she said. “Wentworth is proud of you and your service.”

Michael E. Jackson, department chair, Mechanical Engineering and Technology, and himself a veteran, stressed that the Institute is seeking more information on any veterans who have attended Wentworth. Those who have information to share are encouraged to do so.

The program also featured:

  • A posting of the colors by Detachment 355 Air Force ROTC Cadets and Liberty Battalion Army ROTC Cadets
  • Chief Warrant Officer Jeremy Lowe, United States Marine Corps (retired) leading the Pledge of Allegiance
  • Wentworth’s a capella club, Note-Oriety, singing the National Anthem
  • Reverend Philip Dabney, C.Ss.R offering an invocation and leading a rendition of “God Bless America”
  • Captain Walter P. Flaherty, United States Navy (retired) and Associate Professor Joe Schellings, Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Management, and Army (retired), leading a POW*MIA remembrance

Alumni present at the luncheon included Steven Burnell, BCOT ’09, Ray Caruso, BC ’64, Robert Mabardy, ’65, David Wahlstrom, AET ’80, Conrad Martin, EEE ’67, Jack Steeves, MWTM ’58, David Cass, BC ’63, Jim McLaughlin, EEE ’84, Douglas Lemmo, MPE ’66, David Josselyn, EE, Ed Wlodyka, MD ’59, and Kevin Smith, AET ’88, among others.

One alumnus, Keith Blackey, EE ’72, could not attend the event due to military commitments in Afghanistan, but he made it a point to donate military stars (to be worn by veterans) prior to the event. The stars were handed out during the luncheon to all veterans present. 

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