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Highest Civilian Service Award

President Tony Atwater received one of the highest civilian service awards given by the United States Army at IUP’s ROTC spring dining out event on April 24.

President Tony Atwater and Maj. Gen. Rodney Ruddock

Retired Maj. Gen. Rodney Ruddock, pictured at right with President Atwater, and IUP professor of military science Lt. Col. Sidney Zemp presented the Commander’s Award for Public Service to Atwater. The award is in recognition of Atwater’s “outstanding dedication to the United States Armed Forces and generous support of the IUP Warrior Battalion since his arrival in 2005 through the present,” Zemp said.

This year’s ROTC event featured guest speaker Brig. Gen. Leslie Miller Purser, a 1980 IUP graduate and IUP’s first female brigadier general. She is a military intelligence offer and the commander of the military intelligence readiness command at Ft. Belvoir, Va. IUP’s May ROTC graduating class included two distinguished military graduates: Nursing major Amanda Cooper, Williamstown, and Cook Honors College Political Science major Patrick Zang, Mechanicsburg. Cooper is the cadet battalion commander. Zang is president of the IUP ROTC honor fraternity, Rho Tau Chi.  A distinguished military graduate is a cadet who is in the top 20 percent of the nation’s 5,000 cadets academically and in the top 10 percent of IUP ROTC seniors.

IUP ROTC grads are serving today in more than 125 countries around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan.  Ruddock received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from IUP and received the President’s Medal of Distinction in 2008. He also received IUP’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996.

Photo: Keith Boyer