Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), higher education’s first interdisciplinary academic institute dedicated to advocacy, research, support for military veterans and their families, was awarded a $500,000 grant by the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. The grant will…
Peggy Combs Joins Office of Veteran and Military Affairs Advisory Board
The Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) has announced the addition of retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. (MG) Peggy Combs ’85, the highest-ranking female military officer to graduate from Syracuse University, to its advisory board.
“MG (Ret.) Peggy Combs brings an incredible perspective as a strategic leader, veteran and alumna to our advisory board,” says Ron Novack, OVMA executive director. “We are absolutely honored to welcome her to our board as we work to support those members of the Syracuse University community of military-connected students, veterans, service members and military spouses and children.”
Originally, from Oriskany, New York, Combs was commissioned at Hendricks Chapel in 1985 as a distinguished military graduate of the U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Program (ROTC) at Syracuse University. She went on to serve in the U.S. Army in a variety of leadership and staff positions at the tactical, operational and strategic levels over her 33-year career. She achieved the rank of major general and in doing so became the highest-ranking female military officer to graduate from Syracuse University. In November 2018, Combs’ journey came full circle when she returned to Syracuse University to retire in the same chapel she commissioned in over three decades prior.
“I am honored to join the OVMA Board and give back to the University that has given me and my fellow service members so much,” says Combs. “Syracuse helped to shape me into the person I am today, and I am tremendously proud of the support and empowerment they extend to my fellow veterans, service members and their families. I am thrilled to contribute to the great work being done by the OVMA and the entire Syracuse community.”
Combs’ many awards and decorations include, among others, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Army Legion of Merit and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. She holds degrees from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College, as well as a degree from Syracuse University, a master’s degree from Saint Mary College and a master’s degree from the U.S. Army War College.
Comprised of leaders with diverse and deep levels of experience from the military, government, business, higher education and public service sectors, the OVMA Advisory Board provides advice and counsel to University leadership related to programs, initiatives, and opportunities positioned to advance the educational aspirations of the University’s veteran and military-connected students.
Other Board members include:
- Paul Dottle, former American Express executive vice president of Global Business Services and parent of two Syracuse graduates, one of whom is currently serving in the United States Air Force
- Gary Ginsberg ’72, U.S. Army veteran, Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester volunteer and West Point Retired Soldier Council member
- Cadet Captain Zachary J. Harter ’19, Syracuse University student and ROTC cadet
- Cydney Johnson ’77, G’96, executive director for state and local government relations at Syracuse University
- Jim Lee ’75, Syracuse graduate, author and son of U.S. Coast Guard veteran Harold Lee
- Adam LeGrand ’18, Syracuse University master of public administration graduate student, U.S. Air Force Veteran, Syracuse University Student Veterans Organization (SVO) president
- Ken Quaglio G’91, U.S. Army Veteran and chief wxecutive officer for digital consulting firm Celerity
- LaVonda Reed, associate provost for faculty Affairs, Syracuse University, and professor of law, College of Law
- Glenn Richardson G’89, U.S. Army Veteran and noted industry leader, advisor, coach and executive consultant
- Mark Westervelt, vice president for software engineering/development management at Fidelity Investments and father of Syracuse University Army ROTC cadet Adam Westervelt ’18
The Office of Veteran and Military Affairs serves as Syracuse University’s single point of entry for all veteran and military-related programs and initiatives. Committed to being the “best place for veterans,” the office assists university stakeholders to support and empower veteran, military-connected and military family member students and employees who are veterans at the University.