Lehigh students, faculty and staff enjoyed a performance by the Marching 97 and listened to the words of community members who have served in the military during a public ceremony celebrating Veteran’s Day by the flag pole on the University Front Lawn.
“On behalf of Lehigh, we want to thank you all for coming and we want to thank our veterans,” said Robert Wolfenden, assistant vice president of alumni relations and a retired Army officer. “We want to thank Lehigh and all of the men and women who have served this great nation.”
Wolfenden presented a certificate of appreciation signed by President Alice P. Gast to the Marching 97 in recognition for their performance on Veteran’s Day. He also introduced Michael Spear, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, who served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. Spear, who was commissioned in the Air Force and served for five years, spoke about the value of the sacrifice men and woman in the military make for their country.
“Diversity is strength, and today we focus on just one of the many ways the fabric of our community is woven from so many different life experiences,” said Spear. “Our Lehigh family includes student veterans, our faculty and staff includes members of every branch of service and, among the faces in this crowd, there are also the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters of those who fought so we would have the freedom to stand here today.”
Veteran’s Day at Lehigh also included the annual luncheon in the Asa Packer Room. This year’s luncheon was attended by over 80 active, reserve and retired military veterans; Frank Gunter, associate professor of economics and retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, organized the event.
In addition, Erik Hilberg, Lt. Col., U.S. Army, and chair of the department of military science and leadership at Lehigh, recognized alumnus Maj. Gen. Peter C. Bayer Jr. ’84 for his service and commitment to his nation.
Hilberg, Spear and Wolfenden were members of Lehigh’s committee to organize a more expansive Veteran’s Day observation that would draw more members of the campus community. The committee also included Erik Walker, chief of staff in the president’s office at Lehigh; Henry Odi, vice provost for academic diversity and chair of the committee; Van Dobson, associate vice president of facilities and campus planning; and Anne Anderson, associate professor of finance and Joseph R. Perella and Amy M. Perella chair, who is on sabbatical this semester.
Story by Karl Brisseaux '11
Posted on Wednesday, November 13, 2013