For H. Fred Walker, serving in the U.S. Navy promised adventure, a chance to learn technical skills and the opportunity to get started on a college education. But the skills and experiences Walker obtained during his nine years of service have shaped him in more ways than he could have ever imagined.
“While in the Navy I earned my bachelor’s degree, my first master’s degree and the equivalent of the GI Bill to help finance a majority of my Ph.D.,” Walker says. “I am proud and grateful to have advanced my understanding of engineering technology and leadership while serving.”
Today, as dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology at Rochester Institute of Technology, he is among a contingent of faculty, staff and students on campus with a history of service to our country’s armed forces. Next month, the university will take time to express its appreciation to these patriots.
On Nov. 9, RIT will host its second annual Veterans Day Breakfast. The celebration, scheduled from 8 to 10 a.m. in the Gordon Field House and Activities Center, pays tribute to individuals who serve or have served honorably in uniform.
According to Barry Culhane, executive assistant to President Bill Destler and chair of the event committee, RIT boasts a long history of accommodating the educational needs of returning veterans, dating back to the end of World War II. He says last year’s inaugural event was a resounding success and he expects more than 400 people this year.
“The breakfast is a way to acknowledge the service of all veterans affiliated with RIT and special guests from the Greater Rochester community who work to serve veterans every day,” Culhane says. “We are deeply grateful for those who protect our freedoms.”
Members of the campus community who have relatives serving in uniform will also be acknowledged at the celebration. The program includes a photo slide show of RIT community members who have served in uniform and videotaped reflections from U.S. military personnel and their families.
All members of the campus community are invited to attend the Veterans Day Recognition and Celebration. For more information and to RSVP, call 585-475-7856 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.