ROTC commissioning celebrates 50-year anniversary

Fifty years since the first officer was commissioned at Campbell University back in 1973, 11 students embarked upon a critical step in their academic and military journey by completing their ROTC commissioning inside the Hobson Performing Arts Center.

Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, a retired United States Army four-star general, served as the honorary speaker. Townsend reminded the graduates of three core principles: “Be a leader, know your stuff, and take care of your troops.”

The commissioning ceremony is a long-standing tradition for newly elected Second Lieutenants preparing for life in the U.S Military. Campbell University has now deployed 1,176 cadets over the last 50 years. Most recently, the Campbell University ROTC program achieved the second-best score nationally at the latest ROTC Summer Camp, while winning the 4th Brigade competition at the annual Ranger Challenge.

These 11 Campbell University graduates include Heidi Detoro (Homeland Security) Noah Fulks (Cybersecurity) Jeremiah Harlee (Biology Pre-PA) Eddriz King (Business Administration ) Justin Kirby (Psychology) Rebecca Lewis (Kinesiology Pre-PT) Matthew Noonan (Business Administration) Alexandra Prignano (Homeland Security ) Justin Reichwein (Business Administration) Austen Richardson (Information Technology Security) Shawn Snyder (Business Administration ) Jeffery Taylor (Masters’ Business Administration).

Gen. Townsend’s message for the graduation class leaned into inspiration from his father, James, a former staff sergeant in the U.S. Army. Stephen Townsend reminded the graduates, “Be prepared and lead by example.”

Family from across the country traveled to Buies Creek, N.C. to witness the official commissioning of these Second Lieutenants and Campbell University graduates, including multiple second-generation military members that participated in the pinning ceremony. Click here to rewatch the entire commissioning.