At the April 21 Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps’ Pass-in-Review ceremony at the University of Pennsylvania, President Amy Gutmann praised the NROTC students for “service to others and to our nation.”
At the event,, 65 future officers in the United States Navy and Marine Corps donned their “summer whites” and marched in formation at The Palestra.
Gutmann traced Penn’s history of producing military leaders dating back to the first commandant of the Marine Corps, Samuel Nicholas, who attended Penn during the 1750s, and the first secretary of the Navy, Benjamin Stoddert, who graduated from Penn in 1777. The NROTC battalion has been on Penn’s campus for more than 70 years.
“Being a citizen of this country means recognizing the fundamental importance of contributing to the common good,” Gutmann said. “In the words of the Constitution, it is up to us as citizens to ‘provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty. That is what we the people are called upon to do. And that is what we commend and applaud you for today.”
The unit’s commanding officer, Col. Kenneth DeTreux, participated in the NROTC program here.
“As an alumnus of this NROTC unit almost three decades ago,” he said, “it’s especially rewarding to witness the professional development of our students from midshipmen to junior officers and knowing the journey they’re embarking on. A lot has changed, but so much has remained the same. I’m excited for them as they set out to be the future leaders in our Naval Service and beyond.”
DeTreux said that Gutmann’s participation “demonstrates Penn’s commitment and support, not only to the NROTC, but also to the men and women who will serve our nation in uniform. They are supporting and defending our Constitution, enabling Penn to continue its mission in a free and democratic society.”
During the change-of-command portion of the ceremony, Stephanie Radzinski, a senior political science major at Temple University from Yardley, Pa., handed the flag over to Douglas Wainwright, a rising junior economics major at Drexel University who is from Columbus, N.J. The NROTC unit is composed of students from Penn, Drexel and Temple.
Radzinski is among the 10 officer candidates who will graduate and receive their commissions this year. As one of the selectees for fewer than 10 spaces allocated for female submarine officers completing ROTC programs across the U.S., she will report to Nuclear Power School for submarine training after her graduation and commissioning ceremony.
Liam Keenan is the only NROTC candidate from the University of Pennsylvania earning a commission this year. A Benjamin Franklin Scholar, Keenan is double-majoring in chemistry and classical studies in the School of Arts and Sciences at Penn. Like Radzinski, he will report to Nuclear Power School for submarine training after his graduation and commissioning ceremony.
Keenan represents two generations of Penn graduates and NROTC alumni. His father, U.S. Navy Capt. (retired) Patrick Keenan, also graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, completed its NROTC program and went onto serve 30 years of active duty.
For additional ceremony photos, click here.