Geneva College hosted the Celebration of Service and Sacrifice Veterans Day Breakfast to recognize the veterans and active servicemen and women among the institution’s students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Business professor and chair Dr. Gordon Richards, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force, organized the event. “I have always found the support I received while on active duty to be very important to me,” he said. “I wanted to extend that to students, faculty and staff here at Geneva who have served or are serving.”
Dr. Richards began the celebration by having guest veterans stand to be applauded for their sacrifices. Geneva President Dr. Kenneth Smith provided the opening thanks and prayer, and senior computer science major Christian Coleman, a Sergeant in the United States Army Reserves, led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Colonel Grey D. Berrier II, Deputy Commander, 2d Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division headquartered in Washington, PA, was the keynote speaker. He commended Geneva for its motto, “Pro Christa et Patria,” which translates as “for Christ and Country.” In addition to sharing some of his experiences and the challenges he has faced in the military, Colonel Berrier spoke about leadership, and outlined three important principles for both leaders and followers: honesty, hard work and common sense.
At the end of the address, Dr. Richards honored Colonel Berrier with a Business Department Challenge Coin.
Dr. Richards attributes the success of the event to the combined effort of many people in the Geneva community. In addition, he added, “I want to thank to members of the campus community, present and apart for our breakfast, who hold up the men and women of our armed forces in prayer. You may never know how we value the support of our nation while we are away doing its business and when we return.”
The Celebration of Service and Sacrifice Veterans Day Breakfast is part of a larger effort by Dr. Richards to create a veteran and military-student organization on campus: “I want to create a place where students can gather with those who have had similar experiences.”
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College’s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).
Geneva students have the opportunity each summer to attend Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies to develop practical methods of caring for the environment.