AMHERST, Mass. - The Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) held a joint Army-Air Force commissioning ceremony May 22 in Bowker Auditorium on the campus of the University of Massachusetts.
At the ceremony, 11 cadets, all from UMass, were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Six cadets, four from UMass and two from Mount Holyoke College, were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force.
Chancellor David K. Scott told the 17, plus an audience of about 150 friends and family, that the education the cadets had received in the Pioneer Valley would serve them well as they are assigned to trouble spots around the world, such as those in Yugoslavia, Israel, Africa, and others.
He said there are tensions and hatreds in these areas going back thousands of years that must be understood, and that land-grant institutions such as the University of Massachusetts were created by people "who recognized the importance of educating military officers in a university setting."
Scott said the class is a very special one, as it stands on the threshold of a new millennium, about to travel down a road where there aren''t any signposts and the path is unclear."
He said: "You will be building the road behind you as you go."
John R. Mullin gave the commissioning address. Mullin is a professor of landscape architecture and regional planning at UMass and director of the University''s Center for Economic Development. He is also assistant adjutant general of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. His nomination for promotion to brigadier general is pending congressional approval.
Mullin said when he graduated from the University 32 years ago, he was the recipient of "a wonderful education" that helped him through assignments in many chaotic areas. "The chaos then was Vietnam," he said. "At that time there were riots, and families were torn apart. The military was called on from many fronts to end war and restore order. Today, the world is again in chaos."
He told the cadets their responsibilities would be great. He also told them to remember five points for success. "Listen to your sergeants; continue your education; make your boss look good; practice the art of reading the eyes of your soldiers; and take care of your families."