When Michael Skarda started the journey of becoming a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force, there were no indications that his military career was beginning amidst two decades of conflict. In 2002, Skarda joined the Air Force’s Reserve Officer…
Campus Community Invited to Help Celebrate Veterans Day at the National Veterans Resource Center
The Syracuse University Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) invites the campus community to the National Veterans Resource Center (NVRC) at the Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello Building for the observance of the Syracuse University Veterans Day ceremony 2023.
The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 10, and last for approximately one hour. The ceremony will be held in the K.G. Tan Auditorium, followed by a reception in the Bisignano Grand Hall inside the NVRC.
U.S. Marine Corps veteran Kari Mickinkle ’11, G’22 will open the ceremony and serve as the emcee. Mickinkle is a school-certifying official with the Office of Veteran Success.
Student-veteran John Nipper ’23, G’24, a U.S. Navy veteran and the president of Syracuse University’s Student Veterans Organization, will speak about his personal experience as a military-connected student on campus as well as the history of Syracuse University’s commitment to veterans and military-connected students. Nipper is currently a graduate student in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs pursuing a master’s degree in public administration.
Sheneé Bletson, who served in the U.S. Air Force, currently works as the office coordinator in the Office of Inclusive Excellence. Bletson will speak about the history of Veterans Day and the national importance of honoring those who have served in defense of the nation.
Syracuse University Chancellor and President Kent Syverud will deliver remarks as well as introduce the keynote speaker for the ceremony. Retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Laurie Coffey, L’24 will serve as the guest speaker.
Coffey, a Corning, New York native, served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Coffey accrued over 25 combat missions, 100 combat hours, 2,400 flight hours and 300 carrier landings, part of which was featured on a PBS 10-part Emmy-award-winning documentary, “Carrier.”
“When I started to look to law schools, Syracuse University stood out for its recognition and acknowledgment of the contributions of Veterans,” says Coffey, who was celebrated as Syracuse University’s Hometown Hero during a recent football game. “This has been my first foray into a ‘civilian’ university, and I wasn’t sure what to expect but I immediately found the environment welcoming. Having the connection with other Veterans on campus is really important to me, the camaraderie of a common experience and background is vital to the transition out of service.”
Those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP through the university’s events calendar. The NVRC has limited accessible parking spaces available for those who require parking accommodations; those who plan on attending are asked to email email@example.com if they require access to one of the available parking spaces. All others are requested to find parking available around campus.