IUP Presenting Discussion, Concert in Honor of Veterans Day

Posted on 11/7/2019 12:15:08 PM

Indiana University of Pennsylvania will host two events on November 11 in observance of Veterans Day, including a concert with a world premiere musical composition dedicated to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Events are free and open to the community.

At 6:00 p.m. in the IUP Hadley Union Building Ohio Room, IUP veterans, members of the National Guard, and United States Army Reserve students will participate in a round-table discussion as part of the Six O’Clock Series

Student panelists include Tim Hensel, a physics education major from Connellsville and Army veteran who came to IUP, but whose education was interrupted by a deployment to the Middle East; Zach Kush, a biology major from Pleasant Unity and Navy veteran who came to IUP after his military service; Nina Ledbetter, a criminology and criminal justice major from Eldersburg, Maryland, currently serving in the Army Reserves and as a member of IUP ROTC; and Maniza Mweetwa, an exercise science major from Pittsburgh who is serving in the Army Reserves and National Guard.

Participants will discuss the challenges they encounter transitioning from the military to college and the challenges they face as current members of the military.

At 7:00 p.m., IUP’s Trombone Choir and IUP Symphony Band will present a concert in the IUP Performing Arts Center’s Fisher Auditorium. The concert will feature the world premiere of a work titled “Freedom” by Jeffrey Herwig, director of bands at Mercer High School.

The composition is dedicated to all veterans that are suffering from PTSD after military service overseas. All of the financial proceeds from this work are being donated to the Semper Fi fund, providing assistance to veterans all across the country.  

In addition to this work, the program will feature works by John Philip Sousa, Pittsburgh composer Samuel Hazo, IUP faculty member Therese Wacker as piccolo soloist, a salute to all of our veterans, and ending with “America the Beautiful.” 

The IUP Trombone Choir is under the direction of Christian Dickinson, and the IUP Symphony Band is under the direction of Jason Worzbyt.  

On November 12, the IUP Military and Veterans Resource Center will host a Lunch and Resource Fair from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Hadley Union Building’s Ohio Room. The lunch is free to any veteran, current military member, and IUP military-friendly faculty and staff. Along with the lunch, several veteran community providers—including the Veterans Leadership Program, Soldier On, and the Indiana County Veterans Director—will have tables set up during the event.

At noon and at 1:00 p.m. Cory Shay, director of the MVRC, will give a presentation on changes and new laws that go into effect on December 1, and how those changes will impact the Basic Housing Allowance for Chapter 33 students.

IUP’s MVRC, opened in January 2014, provides both a physical space and a system that coordinates services, information, and guidance for military-affiliated students. The center is staffed by student workers who are veterans or military-affiliated. 

Close to 1,000 IUP students are active military, veterans, and military-affiliated.

IUP has one of the largest ROTC programs in the nation; IUP ROTC commissioned its 2,000th cadet in May 2015. IUP’s ROTC program was selected for the 2014 MacArthur Award, given to the top program in the country, and has won the Governor’s Trophy, presented to the most outstanding military science program at a Pennsylvania college or university, three times.

IUP has graduated 12 generals and one Navy rear admiral.

IUP was first college or university in the nation to have a Vietnam Veterans memorial on campus; it was dedicated on November 11, 1982. 

IUP also has memorials to veterans of World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.

On Veterans Day 2018, IUP’s student military honor fraternity dedicated a student-designed monument to honor veterans of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom.

This monument, “Answering the Call,” was designed by student Anthony Bookhammer, son of an Army veteran, and created by Heather Kaiser, from Albuquerque, a graduate student in the IUP Department of Art and Design and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.