Syracuse University Paints New Orleans Orange at National Conference for Military-Connected Students

Leaders from Syracuse University’s Office of Veterans and Military Affairs (OVMA), Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), Career Services, Veterans Affinity Group, and the Veterans Resource Center attended the 2018 NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students in New Orleans, Louisiana, recently. Hosted annually, the NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students focuses on effective strategies to serve and support the success of veterans and other military-connected students.

The three-day conference consisted of breakout sessions geared toward administrators in higher education for training, resource sharing and fact-finding about opportunities and advancement of student veterans within the institutions of higher education.

Syracuse University leaders shared “best practices” with other universities on making professional graduate degrees more veteran-friendly, including a presentation about the VET-MGMT project by the IVMF funded by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) from 2014-2017. The goal of this project is to develop accelerated and stackable graduate degrees at Syracuse University for student veterans. The “Advancing Veterans Success in Higher Education” report was one of the outcomes of the VET-MGMT and was leveraged in highlighting the “best practices” at NASPA.

The SU team also presented a detailed poster outlining a simulation project currently underway on the campus. The “VET-SIM: Designing Simulations to Support Transitions from Military Service to Collegiate Study” is an effort to support veterans and strengthen their pathways through collegiate study. Professor Benjamin Dotger, with the support of Syracuse University’s School of Education is partnering with the IVMF, and OVMA to design and implement a VET-SIM, a simulation model of real-life challenges experienced on campus by student veterans to help veterans navigate and overcome barriers to collegiate success.

“It is critical to be present at conferences, such as NASPA, to share best practices as well as learn what others are doing within higher education serving our nation’s veterans and military-connected students,” says Ron Novack, OVMA executive director. “During NASPA, I made many great connections with my peers from other academic institutions, shared ideas and brought back to campus additional ideas to assist in solidifying our commitment in making Syracuse University the ‘Best Place for Veterans.’ It was great to hear many colleagues in higher education are using IVMF’s research and using our university work as best examples in the nation serving those who have served.”

Syracuse University Announces Historic $20 Million Gift to Support Construction of First-of-Its-Kind National Veterans Resource Center

Generosity of U.S. Navy veteran Daniel D’Aniello ‘68 and his wife, Gayle, positions Syracuse University to help nation transform service to and support of veterans and military families  

Syracuse University, home to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), today announced a $20 million gift from U.S. Navy veteran and Life Trustee Daniel D’Aniello ’68 and his wife, Gayle. This gift, one of the single largest gifts in University history, will support construction of the National Veterans Resource Center (NVRC), a first-of-its-kind facility that will house the IVMF, the nation’s leading academic institute focused on the concerns of America’s more than 20 million veterans and their families as well as other veteran-focused educational, vocational and community engagement programs. The NVRC will open in spring 2020.

Chancellor Kent Syverud says the D’Aniello family’s gift is profoundly transformative and will allow Syracuse University to fulfill its promise of being the best place for veterans. Since its founding in 2011, more than 90,000 transitioning service members, veterans and military family members have participated in IVMF programs. The IVMF has pledged to place 30,000 veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses into desirable jobs by 2022 through its Onward to Opportunity-Veterans Career Transition Program.

“The commitment that Dan and Gayle D’Aniello have made to Syracuse University, to our students, to our faculty and to our veterans will have a tremendous impact on our University for generations to come,” says Chancellor Syverud. “Dan has dedicated his life to service—first in uniform and later as an entrepreneur, business leader and philanthropist. Syracuse University is deeply grateful for the D’Aniello family’s support, which has the potential to change the lives of millions of veterans and military families.”

Daniel D’Aniello, co-founder and chairman emeritus of The Carlyle Group, served as a supply officer in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Wasp (CVS 18) from 1968 to 1971. He went on to earn a graduate degree from the Harvard Business School, where he was a Teagle Foundation Fellow. In 2016, D’Aniello was awarded the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation’s Lone Sailor Award for drawing upon his Sea Service experience to achieve success in his personal and professional life while exemplifying the core values of honor, courage and commitment.

Citing his time at Syracuse University as life changing, D’Aniello says he’s honored to support his alma mater’s bold vision and ambitious goals.

“Gayle and I are proud to be able to support current and future students, especially those who have and will serve in our nation’s armed forces,” says D’Aniello.

J. Michael Haynie, Syracuse’s vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation and IVMF’s executive director, says serving the nation’s veterans and their families is at the heart of the NVRC vision and mission.

“The NVRC will provide the tools, resources and support needed to fundamentally change the life trajectory of those who serve or have served,” says Haynie. “The NVRC will house state-of-the-art vocational and educational programs that are designed to advance the economic success of the region’s and the nation’s veterans and military families. It will also serve as a platform through which to seed, nurture and coordinate veteran-connected academic research and technology commercialization. It’s a truly innovative approach.”

Syracuse University, via its Academic Strategic Plan, is committed to building on its long legacy of supporting the nation’s veterans and military families. For example, the University has the longest, continuously running Army ROTC program and is consistently placed among the best universities for veterans rankings.

“The work being done at Syracuse, specifically at the IVMF, is simply unrivaled,” says Daniel D’Aniello, who serves as co-chair of the IVMF Advisory Board. “The fact is that unlike any other university, Syracuse understands and appreciates the significant contributions by and the great role veterans and military families play in our society. This new center will allow Syracuse University to help our nation not only respond to but anticipate the unique needs of this population by helping veterans more seamlessly transition to civilian life. To say this center is a game changer in the ongoing efforts to better the post-service lives of our veterans and their families is an understatement.”

About the National Veterans Resource Center
The National Veterans Resource Center (NVRC) will serve as a class-leading exemplar of academic, government and community collaboration and will build upon and advance Syracuse University’s already strong national leadership in the veterans community. The NVRC will house state-of-the-art vocational and educational programs designed to advance the economic success of the region’s and the nation’s veterans and military families, and also serve as a platform through which to seed, nurture and coordinate veteran-connected academic research and technology commercialization. The NVRC will also house the Syracuse University and Regional Student Veteran Resource Center; the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps; the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs “Vet-Success on Campus”; the National Center of Excellence for Veteran Business Ownership; Veteran Business Outreach Center and Accelerator; and Syracuse University’s Office of Veteran and Military Affairs. Designed as a LEED-certified facility and constructed in accordance with universal design practices, the NVRC will be an inclusive facility that welcomes and accommodates veterans and visitors with disabilities. To learn more about the NVRC, visit

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families. Through its professional staff and experts, the IVMF delivers leading programs in career, vocational and entrepreneurship education and training while also conducting actionable research, policy analysis and program evaluations. The IVMF also supports communities through collective impact efforts that enhance delivery and access to services and care. The institute, supported by a distinguished advisory board, along with public and private partners, is committed to advancing the lives of those who have served in America’s armed forces and their families. For more information, visit and follow the IVMF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Syracuse University
Founded in 1870, Syracuse University is a private international research university dedicated to advancing knowledge and fostering student success through teaching excellence, rigorous scholarship and interdisciplinary research. Comprising 11 academic schools and colleges, the University has a long legacy of excellence in the liberal arts, sciences and professional disciplines that prepares students for the complex challenges and emerging opportunities of a rapidly changing world. Students enjoy the resources of a 270-acre main campus and extended campus venues in major national metropolitan hubs and across three continents. Syracuse’s student body is among the most diverse for an institution of its kind across multiple dimensions, and students typically represent all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Syracuse also has a long legacy of supporting veterans and is home to the nationally recognized Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the first university-based institute in the U.S. focused on addressing the unique needs of veterans and their families. To learn more about Syracuse University, visit  


Student Veteran Profile: Ryan Gross ’18, University’s First Tillman Scholar

Growing up, Ryan Gross was always inspired hearing about his grandfathers’ World War II experiences, including leading tank units at the Battle of the Bulge and serving on a Navy destroyer in the Pacific. It was this connection that led him to become a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army. These experiences instilled in Ryan the value of public service and the need for strategic thinking in the military. He transitioned from the Army to working for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) after his deployment in Baghdad. For over a decade, Gross has led intelligence analysis for ambassadors, policymakers and commanding generals.

Ryan Gross

Now, as a Syracuse University student veteran, Gross is representing the Orange as its first-ever Tillman Scholar.

Syracuse University became an official Pat Tillman Foundation University Partner in 2016, joining 14 other universities across the country. The University was chosen for its commitment to providing support to student veterans and their spouses.

The scholarship was named after Pat Tillman, a former NFL player for the Arizona Cardinals who left his professional football career to join the U.S. Army Rangers following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Pat Tillman Foundation was founded in 2004, following Tillman’s death while serving in Afghanistan. The foundation’s mission is to unite and empower remarkable military veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders committed to service beyond self. Listen to Ryan Gross describe his experience as a Tillman Scholar. Gross is a candidate for the master of public administration  at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

“Just having my name mentioned in the same sentence as Pat Tillman is a tremendous honor,” Gross says. “Pat gave 110 percent on everything he did, and was the epitome of selfless service, so being one of 60 selected by his foundation out of 2,100 applicants is incredibly humbling. Pat’s legacy, my experiences with the foundation and interaction with fellow Tillman scholars provides me the motivation I need to give 110 percent to everything I do here at Maxwell and my life beyond Maxwell.”

Gross added that his experience at Syracuse has been incredible.

“Being away from my wife and kids in Florida is hard, but everyone from the OVMA, the VA office, Maxwell faculty and my classmates at Maxwell have been amazing, and have made Syracuse my home away from home,” he says. “I’ve met incredible students who are going to go on to do amazing things in their careers. I’m glad that being a Tillman Scholar provided me the opportunity to experience all of the great things at Syracuse University.”

Tillman Scholars are chosen for outstanding academic performance and leadership potential. The Tillman Scholar fellowship program supports Tillman Scholars with academic scholarships, a national network and professional development opportunities so they are empowered to make an impact in the world. Scholarship money is used to assist with academic expenses, such as tuition and fees, living expenses and books.

Applications for the 2018 Tillman Scholarship open Feb. 1 and close March 1 for active-duty service members, veterans and military spouses at Syracuse University.

Applicants must provide documentation of their military service, or their spouse’s. Additionally, they must submit a resume, two essay responses and a third-party recommendation. To apply to be at Tillman Scholar, visit the Pat Tillman Foundation application site.

Finalists will be chosen in April and will be interviewed by the Pat Tillman Foundation. For assistance with the application process, please contact Jolynn Parker, director of the Center for Fellowship & Scholarship Advising, at 315.443.2759.

Veterans Affinity Group Hosting Community Social

The Syracuse University Veterans Affinity Group is hosting an SU Veterans Community Social in partnership with the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) on Tuesday, Feb. 13, from 5-9 p.m. at Orange Crate Brewing Co., 731 S. Crouse Ave. All are invited to attend—not only veterans and military-connected faculty, staff and students at Syracuse University, but anyone with a passion for serving veterans and who enjoys community service projects throughout the academic year.

Three people, including one in a "Real Veterans Wear Orange" T-shirt, pushing a dolly of packages
Care packages for deployed service members being prepared

“The Office of Veteran and Military Affairs is proud to work with the Veterans Affinity Group to bring everyone together,” says U.S. Army Col. (Ret.) Ron Novack, OVMA executive director. “It’s an exceptionally supportive and inclusive group for anyone who is dedicated to serving veterans, whether they have served themselves or not.”

The Syracuse University Veterans Affinity Group’s mission is to create an engaging community and develop cross-campus partnerships in an effort to support the University’s military-connected employees and students. Expanding membership beyond veterans and military-connected people further strengthens the University’s commitment to enhancing everyone’s campus experience and creating a distinct sense of community.

“Rather than focusing on themselves, veterans often seek out opportunities to continue to serve,” says Edward A. Kiewra (lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army, retired), research associate at the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA). “The Syracuse University Veterans Affinity Group provides a means for veterans, those who are still serving their country and military-affiliated individuals to meet on a regular basis, enjoy that shared camaraderie typical of military organizations, and engage in projects and activities through which they can continue to serve the University and surrounding community.”

The group was established in 2014 under its first president, Jake VanMarter, credited with creating the program for faculty and staff who are veterans at Syracuse University. The group’s new president, Jennifer Renee Pluta, also serves as Syracuse University’s assistant director of Veteran Career Services at the OVMA. In her new role, Pluta looks to expand the group’s membership and participation. Her main goals are to:

  • engage the veteran community;
  • unite faculty and staff veterans and members of military-connected community;
  • influence veteran-related policies on campus; and
  • inform the Syracuse University and greater Syracuse community.

“Under Jennifer’s leadership, coordination and organizational skills, she has taken the group to a whole new level,” says Philip Benedict, Physical Plant facilities supervisor and U.S. Air Force veteran. “Jennifer is welcoming of all, military and non-military alike. She sees this as one for all, all for one. We are here, we are family, we are ONE!”

“Jennifer has done a great job of bringing veterans together from all categories at the University—in ways they never have before,” added Robert Murrett (vice admiral, U.S. Navy, retired), deputy director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism and professor of oractice at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. “It’s a terrific organization.”

For those interested in joining the Veterans Affinity Group, monthly meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month from noon-1 p.m. at various locations across the campus. The next meeting is on Thursday, Feb. 8, at Dineen Hall, room 300L, hosted by  Murrett.

To get updates or join the Veterans Affinity Group, fill out this form for more information or follow the group’s Facebook and Twitter at @SUVetsAffinity.

‘Best Place for Vets’ in Full Force at Student Veterans of America Conference

Syracuse University student veterans and members of the Office of Veterans and Military Affairs, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the Veterans Affinity Group, and University admissions attended the Student Veterans of America National Conference in San Antonio in early January.

Syracuse University turned the Lone Star State orange recently as over 20 Orange student veterans, the Office of Veterans and Military Affairs (OVMA), the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), the team from the Veterans Affinity Group, and University admissions attended the Student Veterans of America (SVA) National Conference in San Antonio in early January.

Syracuse boasted the largest Student Veteran Organization student chapter in attendance and in total the University had over 30 people at the conference. SVA’s national conference is the largest annual gathering of student veterans, advocates, thought leaders, stakeholders and supporters in higher education in the world. Over 2,000 student veterans, higher education professionals, alumni and employers attend for training, recruiting and fact-finding about opportunities for student veterans.

The three-day conference consisted of breakout sessions geared toward student veteran success and post-graduation opportunities. Syracuse University had the most presentation and panel discussions—five—than any other university, sharing “best practices” (campus resources, culture, research and analytics, entrepreneurship, financial literacy) with other universities and solidifying the University’s commitment to making the University the “Best Place for Veterans.”

Leaders from OVMA and the University led a panel discussion about the role on-campus resources play in maximizing student veteran networks, resources and the importance of professional networking as well as critical financial literacy.

IVMF’s Research and Evaluation team’s presentation focused on debunking the myths surrounding veterans as college students and discussed empirical evidence touting the benefits of enrolling these non-traditional students on a campus. In addition, IVMF delivered training on entrepreneurship in conjunction with key University partners—First Data, Disney and the Small Business Administration —reinforcing the program and resources available to student veterans interested in starting a business while pursuing education.

Student veterans were able to network with members from the OVMA, IVMF and University admissions learning about all that Syracuse University has to offer to student veterans on campus and at training programs around the U.S.

“It is critical to empower our student veterans and afford them the opportunity to attend the SVA National Conference, where they learn a great deal of best practices, bring those back to campus to further enrich their student experience and that of others at Syracuse University,” says Ron Novack, OVMA executive director. “None of this could happen without the generous support of our gracious donors and supporters of the Veterans Legacy Fund(VLF), who enabled us to send our 20 student veterans to the conference this year. We hope others will join the VLF and help us increase that number next year.”

James Gilchrest, Newman’s Own Foundation Fellow at the IVMF and National Guardsman, attended the conference. “I was ecstatic when I learned I would be going to #NatCon2018. I am a former SVA chapter president and have always wanted to attend,” Gilchrest says. “During NatCon I made it my personal mission to share the programs IVMF offers as well as OVMA’s unique and supportive services on campus. I also made great connections with employers and other organizations who are terrific support resources for me as a student veteran. I’m proud to be affiliated with a university that keeps the needs of student veterans at the top of their priority list.”

Katy Quartaro ’18 USMC veteran and secretary of Syracuse University’s SVO, as well as a team leader for PAVE also attended. “One of the biggest things I learned at SVA NATCON was that the student veterans of Syracuse University are very lucky,” Quartaro says. “I do not think I would have been able to attend without the help of the University, OVMA and the Veteran Legacy Fund. The fact that I was able to focus on learning as much as possible without worrying about the financial impact, made the event that much better and reinforced the support student veterans here at SU really get.”

About Syracuse University

Founded in 1870, Syracuse University is a private international research university dedicated to advancing knowledge and fostering student success through teaching excellence, rigorous scholarship and interdisciplinary research. Comprising 11 academic schools and colleges, the University has a long legacy of excellence in the liberal arts, sciences and professional disciplines that prepares students for the complex challenges and emerging opportunities of a rapidly changing world. Students enjoy the resources of a 270-acre main campus and extended campus venues in major national metropolitan hubs and across three continents. Syracuse’s student body is among the most diverse for an institution of its kind across multiple dimensions, and students typically represent all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Syracuse also has a long legacy of supporting veterans and is home to the nationally recognized Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the first university-based institute in the U.S. focused on addressing the unique needs of veterans and their families.

Syracuse University Ranks in Top Ten for Third Consecutive Year in Annual Military Times Best: Colleges 2018

Annual rankings factor in veteran and military students’ success rates

Syracuse, NY – Syracuse University has again earned the distinction of being recognized as a best school for veterans as announced by Military Times today. The national rankings factor in the results of Military Times’ annual survey, the most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student services and rates of academic achievement. Syracuse University ranks as the #2 private school in the country and #6 overall for service members, veterans and their families.

“It’s always a proud day when Syracuse University is recognized among its military community for its hard work and commitment to our student veterans,” said retired Col. Ron Novack, Executive Director, Syracuse University Office of Military and Veteran Affairs. “Following Chancellor Kent Syverud’s strategic priority that Syracuse be the best place for veterans, this acknowledgment is validation that we embody what it means to be a home for veterans looking to pursue their college degree after service. In education, in campus culture, in commitment — Syracuse University will continue to welcome those who have honorably served their country and their families.”

Best Colleges 2018 is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors helping make colleges and universities a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. More than 600 colleges took part in this year’s detailed survey.

“Of the hundreds of schools that applied, fewer than half received the Military Times Best: Colleges designation this year. Only the best made the cut,” said George Altman, the Military Times editor in charge of the rankings. “For the past eight years, we’ve seen colleges and universities consistently increasing their resources, revising their policies and improving their academic outcomes for military and veteran students. The Military Times Best: Colleges rankings showcase the very best of these efforts.”

Military Times’ annual Best Colleges survey asks colleges and universities to meticulously document a tremendous array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties; and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus. Military Times also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, as well as three Education Department sources: the IPEDS Data Center, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate Database.

For the full Military Times Best: Colleges 2018 rankings, go to

Media Contact:
Stephanie Salanger
Director, Communications & Media
Office of Veteran and Military Affairs
Institute for Veterans and Military Families
Mobile: 315.378.8171; Email:

About Syracuse University’s Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA)
The Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) serves as Syracuse University’s single point of entry for all veteran and military related programs and initiatives. It collaborates and coordinates with stakeholders to serve veterans, military connected students, and military family members who are students or employees at Syracuse University. For more information about the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, visit

About Military Times
The Military Times digital platforms and newsweeklies are the trusted source for independent news and information for service members and their families. The military community relies on Air Force Times, Army Times, Marine Corps Times, and Navy Times for reporting on everything important to their lives, including: pay, benefits, finance, education, health care, recreational resources, retirement, promotions, product reviews, and entertainment. Military Times is published by Sightline Media Group. To learn more, visit

Hometown Hero: LTC (U.S. Army Ret.) Ed Kiewra

Syracuse Employee and Army Veteran, Ed Kiewra will be honored as the Hometown Hero during the Syracuse Men’s Football game vs. Boston College on Saturday, November 25, 2017.

Lieutenant Colonel Kiewra was commissioned as a military intelligence second lieutenant in the US Army in September 1970 through the ROTC program at Hofstra University. Having been detailed as an infantry officer for his first year, he graduated from the infantry officer basic course, Ranger School, and jump school prior to his first assignment with the 25th Infantry Division. After serving as both a mortar and rifle platoon leader in an infantry company, he moved on to serving in several different capacities as an intelligence officer, including providing intelligence support for contingency operations assigned to the Division.


His next assignment was with the 82nd Airborne Division, where he served as the intelligence staff officer in an airborne infantry battalion, a Division intelligence reconnaissance and surveillance staff officer, and a company commander in the Division’s military intelligence battalion. He had many memorable and personally rewarding experiences as a commander, to include leading his company on an 8-mile run in formation, with the entire unit completing the run in just over one hour.


Following his five years with the 82nd Airborne Division, he served as a special security officer at a remote installation on the Black Sea coast in Turkey. He returned to the US for an assignment as a systems manager with the US Army Intelligence and Security Command, where he assessed future technical requirements and coordinated logistical and training life-cycle support for new technical systems at several strategic signals intelligence installations.


He was then assigned as a strategic intelligence officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency. In this capacity, he exercised primary analytical responsibilities for issues related to command, control, and communications functions associated with the transportation systems of former Warsaw Pact countries. He also researched, authored, and published four comprehensive studies and a number of shorter analytical papers and assessments related to Soviet military logistical capabilities and vulnerabilities in Afghanistan that were disseminated at the highest levels of the Department of Defense and Executive Branch, as well as to members of Congress.


His final assignment was at the Defense Language Institute, where he graduated from the Italian language course and served as the associate dean of the Asian School at the Institute. He retired from active military service in January 1991.


Lieutenant Colonel Kiewra’s commitment and dedication to the Army, its mission, and the soldiers with whom her served was best summarized by one of his battalion commanders, who said, “If I had to take my battalion into combat, I would want (then) Captain Kiewra as one of my company commanders.”

Veterans Day Hometown Hero: Modesto “Mike” Chemotti, U.S. Army veteran

United States Army veteran and Syracuse University alum Modesto “Mike” Chemotti was born in Solvay, New York in 1914. Mike earned an accounting degree from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University in 1938. He also was a member of the 1936 Syracuse University football team, joining the team as a walk-on.

Mike joined the U.S. Army in 1942 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and received quartermaster school training at Camp Lee, Virginia. Chemotti’s unit served in both Morocco and Italy. His proudest military moment came while in Italy when, on June 28th, 1945, he was ordered to supervise travel from Naples in order to secure essential printing supplies for the U. S. Army. Mike attained the rank of Staff Sergeant, and he was honorably discharged in 1945.

Following his time in service, Mike married Margaret Heverin. Together they had four children, ten grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Chemotti was the owner of the Solvay Liquor Store for many years.

Today, Mike is an avid Syracuse University sports and New York Yankees fan. He is also a member of the Tyrol Club and the Geddes Veterans Club. At 103 years old, Mike Chemotti is proud to be one of Syracuse University’s oldest living veterans.

Hometown Hero: Chloe Miliken, student veteran

United States Army Veteran and Syracuse University Student Veteran Chloe Miliken entered the U.S. Army in 2013, where she attended the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. She earned her Explosive Ordnance Disposal Basic Badge in 2014.

Chloe served one combat tour in Afghanistan from 2015 to 2016 in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. She was awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal, and three (3) Army Achievement Medals for her military service.

She completed her my four-year Army enlistment as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician with 754TH Ordnance Company (EOD) in 2017. Today, Chloe is a sophomore at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management studying management.

Veterans Day Week 2017: Syracuse University Student Profiles

Nick Brincka, Student Veteran

Lorimer W. Rich, Army veteran and SU alum

Lorimer W. Rich graduated from Syracuse University in 1914 with a degree in architecture, and then immediately went on to serve with distinction as a U.S. Army infantryman during World War I.  At the conclusion of World War I, Rich continued his academic studies in Italy. Upon his return to New York, to join the firm of McKim, Mead & White.

Rich left McKim, Mead & White after eight years and over the next five decades he became one of the nation’s most prolific designers of government buildings, post offices, court houses, college dormitories, and churches. Locally, he designed the Rome Court House, Camden United Methodist Church, and State University College at Oswego. For his alma mater, Syracuse University, he designed the E.I. White College of Law, Watson, Marion and Shaw Dormitories, and the renovated Archbold Gymnasium.

One of Mr. Rich’s most famous works is the design of the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery – a commission he won through national competition early in his career.  Lorimer also designed the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldiers, at North James and Liberty Streets in Rome, as one of his last works.

Later in his career, he became a critic in design at the School of Architecture of Columbia University, and in 1940 was awarded an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Syracuse University. He also was a critic in architectural and city planning at the Pratt Institute in New York City.

Rich retired in 1971 at the age of 80, to his native hometown of Camden N.Y.  Upon his death in 1978, President Jimmy Carter personally approved his remains to be interred in Arlington – so that he could be near the tomb he designed. Lorimer W. Rich is buried in Section 48 of Arlington National Cemetery, directly behind the Tomb of the Unknowns and the Memorial Amphitheater.

Katy Quartaro, Student Veteran

Rorke T. Denver, U.S. Navy Seal and SU alum

Rorke T. Denver graduated from Syracuse University with Bachelor of Arts in 1996. While at Syracuse University, he was an All-American lacrosse player and captain of the varsity lacrosse team.

Denver has run every phase of training for the U.S. Navy SEALs and led special-forces missions in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and other international hot spots. He starred in the hit film Act of Valor, which is based on true SEAL adventures. Denver has authored both New York Times bestseller, Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior and Worth Dying For: A Navy SEALs Call to a Nation. Denver was most recently seen on FOX’s American Grit. The series followed 16 of the country’s toughest men and women as they face a variety of military-grade and survival-themed challenges set in the wilderness.

After completing the SEALs’ legendary Basic Underwater Demolition program in 1999 (BUD/S Class 224), Denver began an action-filled 13-year career as a platoon commander and training leader with America’s premier special-operations force. As assistant officer in charge of BRAVO Platoon at SEAL Team THREE, he was deployed to SOUTCOM, the Central and South American Area of Operations, where his platoon was the “alert” SEAL team for maritime interdiction, hostage rescue, counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics. As SEAL officer aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, Denver led his group’s response to a murderous uprising in the Ivory Coast nation of Liberia, launching advanced-force operations, conducting hydrographic beach reconnaissance and helping to get U.S. Marines safely ashore. At Special Boat Team TWELVE, he started the Maritime Capable Air Deployable Boat Detachment, which specialized in parachuting large assault boats from U.S. aircraft.

In 2006, Denver was officer in charge of BRAVO Platoon of SEAL Team THREE in Iraq’s Al Anbar Province in one of the most combat-heavy deployments of any regular SEAL team since Vietnam. Stationed in Habbaniya, his team conducted more than 190 missions including sniper operations, direct assaults, special reconnaissance and ground patrols. Two of his teammates were killed in action, including Mike Monsoor, who received the Medal of Honor for jumping on a live grenade to save his teammates. Denver’s team has been widely credited with propelling the “Tribal Awakening” that helped to neutralize Iraq’s Shia insurgency. Denver was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” for valorous action in combat.

After returning to the United States, Denver was appointed flag lieutenant to Admiral Joseph Maguire, commanding officer of Naval Special Warfare, traveling to Afghanistan and briefing Congress on SEAL operations. In 2009, he became First Phase officer of SEAL Basic Training including Hell Week, then rose to Basic Training officer. He went on to run all phases of training including advanced sniper, hand-to-hand fighting, communications, diving and language.

Denver is an honor graduate of the United States Army Ranger School. In addition to his Syracuse University education, he earned a Master’s Degree in Global Business Leadership from the University of San Diego.

Maria Delgado, Student Veteran

Eileen Collins – Air Force Veteran, NASA Astronaut and SU alum

Eileen was born on November 19, 1956 into a family of Irish immigrants in Elmira, New York. From an early age, Eileen marveled at the wonder of flight. Her fondest childhood memories were visiting the Harris Hill Soaring Corporation and Museum and standing around the local airport with her parents to watch planes take off. This sparked a desire to take flying lessons, so she took a part-time job at a pizza parlor to save up $1,000 for private lessons. By the age of nineteen, Collins entered the cockpit for the first time and knew instantly that she would be a pilot.

After high school, Collins attended Corning Community College. With determination and her family’s support, she quickly earned an associate degree in mathematics and a two-year Air Force ROTC scholarship at Syracuse University. Collins graduated from Syracuse in 1978 with a bachelor of arts in mathematics and economics and a commission as an U.S. Air Force Second Lieutenant. Eileen entered the Air Force just as the doors started opening for women pilots. She set her sights on attending undergraduate pilot training school at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma where she was among the first group of 120 females to apply—and one of only four women selected. Within a year, the 23-year-old lieutenant became the U.S. Air Force’s first female flight instructor. In 1983, Collins was reassigned to Travis Air Force Base in California, where she flew C-141 cargo planes and participated in numerous military and humanitarian missions overseas. Several years later, Collins taught mathematics at the U.S. Air Force Academy after earning master’s degrees in operations research from Stanford University and in space systems management from Webster University.

With two advanced degrees, over 1500 hours of flight time, and a cool-headed reputation, Collins was the second woman ever accepted to the prestigious Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Upon graduation in 1990, NASA selected her for the astronaut program. At NASA, she famously became the first woman astronaut to both pilot (1995) and then command (1999) a Space Shuttle mission. Under her command, the shuttle Columbia made history when it deployed a $1.5 billion telescope into orbit to enable deep-space exploration of exploding stars, quasars, and black holes.

Collins retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2005 at the rank of Colonel. Her list of honors and awards is long and befitting of one of our nation’s the first female pilots and astronauts. The main boulevard entrance to Syracuse Hancock International Airport proudly enjoys her name. So too does the astronomical observatory at Corning Community College. Collins is also a Syracuse University Arents Award recipient, an inductee of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and recognized by Encyclopedia Britannica as one of the top 300 women in history to have changed the world.

Halston Canty, Student Veteran

Daniel D’Aniello, Syracuse University Board of Trustees and SU alum

Daniel D’Aniello grew up in Butler, Pennsylvania and was raised by his Italian Catholic mother and grandmother. As a “good Italian boy” as he put it, he used to help his single mother pay the bills by bagging groceries at his uncles produce company, while she earned a living working four jobs.  D’Aniello’ s childhood consisted of working at an early age, being an altar boy and singing in the church choir, and competing on the gymnastics team. He was voted most popular in high school, but higher education would be what “changed his life”.

Daniel D’Aniello was accepted to Syracuse University to study transportation economics. He graduated magna cum laude in 1968 and was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma, an honor society for business students and scholars. Drafted in the U.S. Navy that same year, D’Aniello spent the next three years serving as a supply officer before continuing to Harvard Business School. He received his M.B.A. in 1974 and was also a Teagle Foundation Fellow.

He served as a financial officer at PepsiCo and Trans World Airlines (TWA), developing skills he would need when he later served as Vice President for Finance and Development at the Marriott Corporation from 1981-1987. While at Marriott, he was responsible for the evaluation of major mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, debt and equity offerings, and project financings.

With his partners William Conway Jr. and David Rubenstein, he cofounded the Carlyle Group in 1987. They used politically connected advisors such as former President George H.W. Bush and former British Prime Minister John Major to buy defense-oriented firms, turning them around and selling them for profit. He serves as Chairman of the Board, running the firm’s daily operations. Today the firm manages around $203 billion across 129 buyout, leveraged finance, real estate, and venture capital funds. The Carlyle Group bought pipeline outfit Kinder Morgan for $22 billion, acquired Philadelphia Energy Solutions in 2012 saving 850 local jobs, and even has minority investments in Beats Electronics. It has become a famed Washington-based private equity firm with expansions and investments internationally, and was even inducted into the Dow Jones Private Equity Analyst Hall of Fame. The Carlyle Group’s geographical reach spans the globe in 23 countries on six continents, making it one of the largest private equity firms in the world.

Currently, D’Aniello serves as Vice Chairman of the American Enterprise Institute’s Board of Trustees, in addition to serving on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Syracuse University, and on the Corporate Advisory Council of the Whitman School of Management.

According to the Forbes 400 richest people in America this year, Daniel D’Aniello made #229, with a net worth of $2.8 Billion, which he has made through private equity. The Carlyle Group’s big returns have made D’Aniello and his family rich and continues to show his gratitude through donations to several institutions, one of which is Syracuse University. The D’Aniello Entrepreneurship Internships, an internationally recognized initiative, are named after him as a testimony to what he stands for: the entrepreneurial spirit, hard work, imagination, aggressiveness, tenacity, and strong moral values. D’Aniello also made a huge contribution to the American Enterprise Institute of $20 million, in order to help the conservative think tank move into its first permanent home in history.

Daniel D’Aniello has also been married to his wife Gayle for thirty-six years and are the parents of two daughters. They currently reside in Vienna, Virginia.

Ryan Gross, Student Veteran & Tillman Scholar

Albert Lee Gaines, Tuskegee Airman & SU Alum

Albert Lee Gaines was born in Struthers, Ohio on November 27, 1923. Gaines spent the majority of his adolescence in Seneca, New York, where he attended the Seneca Vocational School. Following high school, Gaines went on to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri; however, in the thick of World War II, he transferred to the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

With much reluctance and through great adversity, Gaines became a member of the now world-renowned Tuskegee Airmen in his early 20s. Prior to the Tuskegee Airmen, there were no black U.S. military aviators. When Congress forced the U.S. Army Air Corps to form an all-black combat unit in 1941, Gaines was able to complete the course. He graduated from Tuskegee University as a Second Lieutenant and progressed to the rank of Captain as a pilot, bombardier, and eventually flight instructor.

During the height of WWII, Mr. Gaines was one of the few Tuskegee Airman to join the ranks of a unit known as The Red Tails. This elite group developed a feared reputation among German pilots having been accredited for shooting down 106 enemy aircraft and never losing a plane under escort. It was only later in 1952 that Gaines and several other Tuskegee Airmen were acknowledged for their success by the T.J. Watson family, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the founders of IBM, with whom he would eventually find employment. Notably, when he took the IBM opening exam, he had achieved the highest test scores on record.

With support from important figures, Gaines was accepted into and attended Syracuse University—Gains would call this his “Jackie Robinson moment”. Gaines retired from IBM in 1999. He continued to be a legal activist at the Montrose VA Hospital and even ran once for county executive. Gaines fully retired in 2003.