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ROTC Commissions 14 Cadets from Five Area Schools

Widener's Stephen Doyle takes the oath to become a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

Widener University’s Dauntless Battalion commissioned 14 cadets as second lieutenants of the U.S. Army on Thursday, May 15. Cadets from Neumann University, Pennsylvania State University-Abington, Villanova University, West Chester University of Pennsylvania and Widener University participated in a joint commissioning ceremony in front of Widener's Old Main building by the university's Veterans Memorial.

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 128 active cadets this academic year.

Lt. Col. Matthew F. Ignatovig, battalion commander and professor of military science, presided over the commissioning ceremony.

"Thank you for raising your hand and saying send me," Ignatovig said to the cadets, who have received their assignments and are preparing to report for duty following graduation.

Brig. Gen. Raymond F. Shields, Jr. delivered the keynote address. Shields is director of joint staff for the New York National Guard. He joined the New York Army National Guard in 1983 and has since served in a variety of command positions, including battalion commander, executive officer of the 27th Infantry Brigade in Afghanistan and chief-of-staff of the New York Army National Guard, which he held prior to his current position.

"Always do what is right, even when nobody is looking," Shields said, reminding the cadets that as second lieutenants they must lead by example and take good care of their soldiers.

The 14 cadets who were commissioned at the May 15 ceremony include Matthew Brand of Hawley, Pa. (WCU); Stephen Doyle of West Chester, Pa. (Widener); Braheem Hartley of Elkins Park, Pa. (WCU); Kramer Kaufelds of Doylestown, Pa. (Neumann); Allen Landis of Lancaster, Pa. (Villanova); Mark LaPenta of Philadelphia (PSU-Abington); Erin Larson of Farmington Hills, Mich. (Villanova); Patrick Loughnane of Royersford, Pa. (Villanova); Ashley Meckelborg of Long Beach, Calif. (Villanova); Virginia Orlowski of Covingtown Twp., Pa. (WCU); Brian Peloso of Rock Tavern, N.Y. (Villanova); Randall Roos of Washington, D.C. (Villanova); Rachel Seggel of Lavallette, N.J. (Villanova); and Andrew Stump of West Chester, Pa. (WCU).

Both Andrew Stump and Randall Roos performed the sheathing of the saber, an annual tradition carried out by the battalion's top cadets.

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development 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 more than 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free campus. Visit the university's website,