UB to hold Veterans Day celebration

Published November 5, 2015

UB will honor the university’s veteran and military service members with a two-part program on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

The sixth annual celebration will begin at 11 a.m. with a flag ceremony on Coventry Plaza in front of Alumni Arena on the North Campus.

The traditional raising of the flag to half-mast and commemorative bell-ringing will take place at 11:11 a.m. An invocation will be offered by the Rev. Mike Zuffoletto, retired Navy chaplain. Taking part in the ceremony will be members of University Police, ROTC color guards and the Thunder of the East marching band. 

Following the ceremony, the celebration will move to the Black Box Theater in the Center for the Arts for refreshments and remarks. Dennis Black, vice president for university life and services, will welcome attendees and President Satish K. Tripathi will give remarks. UB student Justine Bottorff; Maj. Andrea Pitruzzella, chief of public affairs for the 914th Airlift Wing; and retired Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett, deputy director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University, each will reflect on what it means to be a veteran.

Bottorff, a senior UB nursing student, enlisted as a combat medic with the 82nd Airborne Division in 2006. She served in multiple locations in Iraq, including Tallil, Taqaddum and Ramadi. After four and a half years of active duty, Bottorff retired from the Army, having earned the rank of staff sergeant. She is currently a drill sergeant with the Army Reserve.

Pitruzzella joined the Air Force in 1981, serving 16 years as an enlisted member before being commissioned as an officer in 1997. She served four years of active duty, then joined the Air National Guard in 1986. She served there for 23 years before joining the Air Force Reserve in her current position in 2009.

Murrett is a 30-year veteran of the Navy, whose distinguished career culminated with his tenure as director of naval intelligence (2005-06) and as the fourth director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2006-10). In 2011, Murrett joined the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University, where he is now deputy director, as well as a faculty member of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from UB in 1975.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information and to register, visit the event’s website.