The following is the text of a news release from the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College:
(THROGGS NECK, N.Y.) (March 11) — More than 100 students, faculty, staff, alumni and veterans were in attendance yesterday as SUNY Maritime College opened its new Veterans Center.
Maritime College President Michael A. Alfultis addressed the attendees, reminding them of the storied history of maritime college’s many contributions to the United States armed services, and the need to make returning veterans who are current students feel both welcome and supported. The Veterans Center was constructed for those purposes.
Members of the Class of 1963 cut a ribbon, marking the formal opening of the center, located on the ground floor of Vander Clute Hall. On hand to from the class to cut the ribbon were Charles DiGiovanni, Ray Kadingo, Norman Maender, Joe Maurelli, Paul Narbut, Alan Ross, Robert Tambini and Len Weinberg.
Funding for the establishment of the Veterans Center was made possible by a donation in the amount of $30,500 from the Class of ’63. The funds were used to renovate and improve the space formally used as the campus’s mailroom.
The center provides students who are veterans with a place to relax, socialize, and gain support and assistance with issues specific to military veterans.
SUNY Maritime College alumni have served in every American conflict of the 20th and 21st centuries. Nineteen graduates of the college have attained the rank of flag officer (admiral rank) in the sea services. Today, there are 58 veteran students and nearly 100 students who are part of the Naval Reserve through the NROTC program. SUNY Maritime College has the second-highest percentage of student veterans in the SUNY system. Additionally, 30 staff and faculty members at the college are veterans.