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Widener ROTC Commissions 15 Cadets

Widener University’s Freedom Battalion commissioned 15 cadets as second lieutenants of the U.S. Army on Thursday, May 12 at the Veterans Memorial in front of the Old Main building. In addition to Widener University, this year’s ceremony featured cadets from the Abington Campus of Pennsylvania State University, Neumann University and Villanova University.

Widener is the host institution for ROTC activity at the Abington and Brandywine campuses of Pennsylvania State University, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Immaculata University, Neumann University, Villanova University and West Chester University of Pennsylvania. These partnerships help make Widener’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program one of the largest in the region, with 110 active cadets this academic year.

LTC Jon Peterson, battalion commander and professor of military science, presided over his last commissioning ceremony at Widener as he will soon retire from the position.

The 15 newly commissioned cadets include: Daniel Antinucci, Widener University; Ira Burg, Penn State-Abington; Sean Dahlberg, Penn State-Abington; Basilio Deleon-Pichardo, Penn State-Abington; Noelle Edinger, Widener University; Courtney Edwards, Widener University; Jonathon Krisko, Widener University; Kyle Lombardo, Villanova University; Scott McInerney, Widener University; Nicholas McKee, Villanova University; Alexei Potapovici, Villanova University; Michelle Raia, Widener University; Justin Simmons, Widener University; Jesse Smith, Villanova University; and Sean Wallace, Neumann University.

In addition to these 15 cadets, three were commissioned earlier this fiscal year: Jonathan Catov, West Chester University; Dihn Tat, Penn State Abington; and Shannon Thompson, Widener UniversityWest Chester University cadets Jason Devlin and Liam Golden were previously commissioned on May 6 at a special ceremony held on West Chester’s campus. Also, Alexander Medeiros of Widener University and Daniel LaBarge of Villanova University will take part in a summer commissioning ceremony after completing their Army assignments and other requirements, which brings this year’s commissioned class up to 22 members.

Brigadier General B. Don Farris delivered the keynote address at the commissioning ceremony. BG Farris was commissioned in the Infantry after graduating from the United States Military Academy in 1983. He commanded the 2nd Brigade Combat Team “The Falcons,” 82nd Airborne Division in Northeast Baghdad and Sadr City during the Iraq Surge. He currently serves as Deputy, chief of Legislative Liaison. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab and Air Assault Badge. 

The May 12 commissioning ceremony also featured the sheathing of the saber, a tradition performed annually by the top cadet in the battalion. This year, the honor went to Widener’s Scott McInerney of Bristol, Pa., based on his academic achievements, ROTC coursework and performance in the ROTC Leadership Development and Assessment Course among other things.

Another distinguished military graduate from Widener, Jonathon Krisko of Schnecksville, Pa., is the valedictorian of the Widener University Class of 2011.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,700 students. Visit the university website,