UIW Celebrates 2024 Military-Affiliated Graduates

May 17, 2024

With its recent ranking as the #1 "2023 Best for Vets" college by Military Times, UIW undeniably takes immense pride in assisting active duty and veteran students achieve their academic and career goals. To honor the service and scholarship of military-affiliated graduates, UIW commemorated their unique achievements with several special events. 

UIW hosted the 2024 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) commissioning ceremony to commission newly graduated ROTC cadets into their respective branches of the military. ROTC is a college-based, military officer commissioning program that is offered by the Army, Navy and Air Force, with the Naval ROTC including a Marine Corps commissioning track.

Five of UIW’s cadets took their Oath of Office and upon their commissioning, these newly appointed officers earned the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Army.

“Being a prior ROTC graduate and retired Navy Commander, I am always humbled and honored to see the next generation that will lead, protect, and serve our great nation,” said Jonathan Lovejoy, UIW’s senior director for Military and Veterans Affairs. “I am always impressed by their academic achievements as they move forward to be military and community leaders.”

The UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM) held its Armed Forces Commissioning Ceremony, where 13 graduating officers took oaths to protect and serve the nation. The commissioning ceremony marked the transition of individuals from officer candidates to commissioned medical officers.

"We are thrilled to announce that we commissioned our newest medical officers at UIWSOM,” shared the school in an online statement. "It was an honor to witness these young men and women take their oath of service in front of their loved ones and supporters. Their unwavering commitment to the values of duty, honor, and country is truly inspiring.”

“My favorite part of this year's event was meeting the families of UIWSOM’s student doctors and celebrating the students' success together,” shared Kimberly DeLaFuente, UIWSOM’s student affair coordinator.

UIW’s Military and Veteran Center (MVC) also hosted its annual Veterans Graduation Reception to commemorate the completion of the educational journeys of military-connected students. At the event, military-affiliated faculty and staff presented veteran graduation challenge coins to graduates, who were offered the opportunity to have their photo taken during the coin presentation. Many of them took photos with family and loved ones. Additionally, graduates received their veteran Tribute Stole that they later wore proudly at their commencement ceremony.

“I made a commitment to serve our country in 1987 and I am proud that I can continue to serve our country by supporting our student veterans and their families,” stated Lovejoy. “It is amazing to see our student veterans achieve their academic goals, and we are honored to be able to recognize them during the UIW Veterans Graduation Reception.”

As these new military-affiliated graduates embark on new journeys, both in service to their country and in their professional endeavors, UIW stands ready to support and honor their continued success. Congratulations to the Class of 2024 military-affiliated Cardinals, whose dedication inspires us all.