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.