SUNY Cobleskill Honors Veterans with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Veteran’s Plaza
SUNY Cobleskill will unveil a campus tribute to veterans with a ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate its new "Veteran's Plaza" on April 26 at 10:00 a.m. The design will hold special meaning to SUNY Cobleskill alumni and veterans because it was inspired by Jeff Vogt, a December 2012 graduate who is currently a member of the Army National Guard. The plaza is located outside of SUNY Cobleskill's Knapp Hall, a main access point for campus visitors.
The plaza design includes flagpoles and decorated lamp posts surrounded by bluestone markers that display seals from each branch of the military and a bluestone bench inscribed with the words, "In honor and memory of all those who served and for the freedom to educate, inspire and learn." This is the first symbolic representation of all of those who have served in the military and have been part of the community. The presence of veteran students at SUNY Cobleskill dates back to World War I, when the Federal Board for Vocational Education made it possible for a few veterans to seek agricultural training and includes the Classes of 1942 and 1943, which had a large number of returning WWII veterans and their families living and studying on campus, as well as the current student veterans returning from Afghanistan.
Today, 44 students are veterans or currently serve in the military. The faculty and staff include more than 30 veterans and members of the armed forces. While the campus has been named as a military friendly college by GI Jobs Magazine, this is the first symbolic representation of all of those who have served in the military and have been part of the community.
"The establishment of the new Veteran's Plaza is about celebrating and honoring all veterans, especially those who have been part of our campus community," said Matt LaLonde, Director of Judicial and Veteran's Affairs at SUNY Cobleskill. "But it is also a celebration and appreciation of Jeff's leadership as a student and an active member of the military."
Vogt, a Landscape Contracting graduate, created a conceptual design for the space as a way to recognize alumni, students, faculty and staff who have served in the military. This is just one way that Vogt exercised his leadership skills on campus, LaLonde explained. Having served as a member of the student government, a resident assistant and senior resident assistant, Vogt also provided leadership in relief efforts on campus during Hurricane Irene. This past fall he also offered his time to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Jennifer Regelski-Rotman, President of the Alumni Association, will offer a welcome and introduce guest speakers at the event which will include remarks from Officer in Charge Dr. Candace Vancko, Vogt, faculty member and veteran Professor Dave Campbell, and Assemblyman Peter Lopez. The keynote address will be given by alumna and veteran Kathy Shear, Class of 1983. Members of the local Army National Guard will also be present for the dedication.