UB honors veterans and accepts designation as Purple Heart University
UB veterans and members of the UB community gathered for a Chafee Hall Flagpole ceremony Saturday, September 28, 2019, to commemorate the University’s designation as a Purple Heart University.
After an invocation by Reverend Douglas House, a moment of silence and words given by distinguished speakers including US Senator Richard Blumenthal, UB President Laura Trombley read the official Proclamation of the Purple Heart designation and accepted a plaque inducting the University of Bridgeport into the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH).
Trombley also unveiled a stone monument engraved with the names of five fallen UB alumni from the Alpha Gamma Pi Fraternal Order, including Vietnam War veterans John “Jack” Hulme ’68, John Corr ’66, Michael Dalton ’68, Charlie Yaghoobian, and Fran Sullivan ’66.
Senator Blumenthal commented, “Today is more than a plaque award. We owe our veterans more. You are our heroes. The University's step to provide this support for veterans is a model for others to follow.”
The University of Bridgeport was the second college in the state of Connecticut to receive the Military Order of the Purple Heart in recognition of the University’s support of military members, veterans and their families. The award is given to higher education institutions that provide support services and accessibility for military members, both during and after service.
Thomas Hessel ‘72 gave tribute to the five UB Alpha Gamma Pi fraternity brothers who were lost in the Vietnam War. “These five names on this stone,” he recalled, “were great young men when they were here at UB. I hope this memorial brings comfort and peace to those who come to visit and remember.”
In addition to the designation, UB has reserved a Purple Heart recipient parking space, located at the entrance to Knight Field, for those wounded during combat while serving in the U.S. armed forces, honoring our veterans on a daily basis.
The special ceremony took place during Homecoming Weekend.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all combat wounded veterans and active duty men and women who have received the Purple Heart decoration.
The Purple Heart is our nation’s oldest military award. Introduced as the “Badge of Military Merit” by then General George Washington in 1782, it is one of the most respected medals that a U.S. military member can receive and is awarded to those wounded or killed while serving with the U.S. military.