DeSales University will commemorate Veterans Day by dedicating a new Veterans Memorial Plaza on Friday, November 11 at 11:00 a.m. between Dooling Hall and the DeSales University Center.
Veteran students and alumni will participate in the solemn ceremony, which will include a wreath laying. Father Bernard O’Connor, OSFS, president of DeSales University, and Wayne Stuart, director of the physician assistant program who served 11 years active duty in the U.S. Army, will also speak.
“We have a group of people who provided the ultimate service,” says Joann E. Haws, assistant dean of lifelong learning. “It’s important we let our veteran population know their service is recognized and valued.”
Current student Nicholas Latham, former United States Corpsman Second Class, USMC/USN Active, will take part in the wreath laying. Latham left home at the age of 18 and received the Bronze Star with Valor in 2010 for saving the life of a Marine who had stepped on a Taliban landmine in southern Afghanistan and lost both legs.
“The memorial is a symbolic representation of the support and reverence that DeSales University has for the men and women that had sacrificed their lives and endured adversity to preserve the precious freedom and liberties of this country,” Latham says.
Construction on the memorial started over the summer and was helped made possible by a gift from Drexel Hamilton, LCC, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business and a full-service institutional broker-dealer founded on the principle of offering meaningful employment opportunities to disabled veterans desiring a career in financial services.
The dedication comes weeks after the opening of a new Veterans Lounge in Dooling Hall. Veteran students can watch TV, grab coffee, or check their military benefits. “They really need that peer connection,” says Haws. “The transition to civilian life is not easy so having a place where they can connect with each other is really important.”
DeSales University currently has 104 veterans taking classes through different programs. The dedication will take place during non-traditional student week, during which time the University will also be participating in a Veterans Employment and Education Fair, hosted by PA CareerLink Lehigh Valley, on Thursday, November 10.