Alumni & Veterans
On October 5, 2005, Niagara University's ROTC department unveiled a Hall of Fame honoring members of its program that have distinguished themselves after college. The ROTC program has a long and illustrious history, producing many noteworthy men and women; these people deserve to be remembered for the pride they bring to our university. The first honorary inductees are the University’s two Medal of Honor recipients, Major General William “Wild Bill” Donovan and 2nd Lieutenant John P. Bobo. Both men were recognized by Congress for their heroism and outstanding leadership, making them the most recognizable names to graduate from Niagara ROTC and obvious entries as members of the Hall of Fame. Read more about them by clicking on the links below.
2LT John P. Bobo:
Major General William "Wild Bill" Donovan:
Inductees have been selected through a process of nomination and approval by a panel of University and ROTC officials. There will be three to four inductees selected per year. Nominees must meet the first two criteria and one or more of the subsequent prerequisites:
- Graduated from Niagara University.
- Participated in NU ROTC with military service ending in an honorable discharge, retirement or funeral.
- Performed military service that set a standard as an exemplary model.
- Lives or lived in the model of St. Vincent DePaul (embracing service to the community, the poor and the downtrodden).
- Made a significant contribution to the betterment of society.
- Reached a high level position of authority, either civilian or military, that is worthy of recognition (ex. General Officer, Congressman, etc).
- Gave their life for service (Killed in Combat).
To make a Hall of Fame nomination for the year, please send a quality 5 X 7 photograph of the nominee (digital preferred), a narrative of the individual’s achievements and any corroborating documents. The nominations can be e-mailed or sent to: Howard Morgan, Alumni Engagement, PO Box 2008, Niagara University, NY 14109 no later than May 1st or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include contact information. Next year’s induction board will convene May 15th. Family members of the awardees will be notified in June and this year's ceremony will be held during Alumni Weekend in October.
The 2017 Inductee:
COL Sara T. Breckenridge-Sproat, '87, US Army Nurse Corps, serves as a military medical surgical nurse, senior nursing executive and is a registered nurse in the state of New York. Currently researching as an Associate Investigator for the TriService Nursing Research Programs. Awarded the Legion of Merit, six Meritorious Service Medals, Army Commendation Medals, Conspicuous Service Cross, Order of Military Medical Merit and earned a Helen Tobin Writer's Award Journal.
The 2016 Inductees:
2LT William G. Jerro, '66, served in the Marine Corp, received the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal. He was killed in action in Vietnam September of 1967.
1LT Dennis F. Grace, '66, served as a helicopter pilot for the Marine Corps while serving in support of a combat operation in Quang Nam, he was killed in action when his craft was shot down 11 March 1970. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for boldly remaining and delivering machine gunfire from his dangerous exposed position with devastating effectiveness it suppressed enemy fire allowing friendly helicopters to enter the area and extract friendly troops. He gave life to serve his country. Graduated from Niagara Falls High School then attended Niagara University, returned to Niagara Falls High School to teach history and economics before enlisting in the Marine Corps.
The 2015 Inductees:
COL (RET) David "Duke" Schneider, '65, served at several overseas locations in Italy, Vietnam, Germany and Korea where he worked on air defense missiles and field artillery howitzers. Returned to United States in 1977 to Ft Meade, MD where he coordinated training for more than 3,000 Army units. Advised and assisted training, organization, employee relations, logistics and the officer education system for the highest Commanding Officer in Massachusetts. In 1993, he became a senior instructor for JROTC Program in Kentucky where he helped prepare over 3,700 Cadets for life after school.
CPT Jim Hay, '65, served in Vietnam commanding C Company, 1st Battalion, and 28th Infantry Regiment, directing arriving helicopter gunships' fire onto enemy strongholds they gained vital fire superiority causing enemy withdrawal. Awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Purple Heart.
The 2014 Inductees:
COL (RET) George F. Crowe, '54, has a life of service of 84 years. He served in the Navy Reserve while he was just a junior in High School. Called to active duty in 1951 serving as an Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class. A year later he returned and attended Niagara University ROTC and became a member of the National Honor Society of Scabbard and Blade, graduating in 1955. Served active duty in Korea with Co 1 31st Infantry Regiment, transferred to Ft. Devens, MA into the National Guard and later into the Army Reserves. Promoted to Colonel he became the Commandant of the United States Army Reserve School. He has raised 3 out of 5 children that have attended NU and two of his children have served active duty, one in the Army Reserve. His eldest son, Terrence gave the ultimate sacrifice and was KIA on June 7, 2005. Soon after Terence's death this compelled him to develop a Memorial Scholarship Fund which represents Terry's generous spirit and commitment to service. He and his wife have also developed a Nursing Scholarship at NU and are very committed, generous active members of our community today.
CPT Joseph M. Sheridan, '69, Served in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot and then a Cobra Gunship Pilot with the 101st Airborne Division. Participated in 500 combat missions in Vietnam and Operation Lam San 719. Became the Headquarter Company Commander of Ft. Drum, NY. Left the Army and became a college assistant director and coach for the Elmira Men's Basketball team. He then found his passion and started an independent consulting company called "Sher-Co" still thriving today.
The 2013 Inductees:
COL Peggy Ann Miller, '84, US Army Reserve Officer in the Nurse Corps, dual deployments to overseas combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan working with servicemen and women suffering behavioral and restorative psychiatric care. She is still serving as a behavioral health practitioner at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Canandaigua, NY.
REV RADM (RET) Louis V Iasiello, '73, Commissioned as a Navy Chaplain Lieutenant in the Naval Reserves. First Chaplain Corps Flag Officer appointed Chaplain of the US Marine Corps, the Senate appointed him as the 23rd Chief of Navy Chaplains until retiring in 2006. He is now serving as a Professor of Humanities and Director of Formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, OH.
The 2012 Inductees:
BG (RET) Anthony F. Caruana, '69, Distinguished Military Graduate of ROTC Program at Niagara University; Chief, Casualty Branch, Office of the Adjutant General; Assistant Secretary to the General Staff, Headquarters Fifth US Army; Commanded at company, battalion, brigade and division levels; Assistant Division Commander of 98th Division and was promoted to Brigadier General and Deputy Commanding General 98th Division. He retired in April 2007. He now works as the Supervisor of the Town of Tonawanda and Kenmore, NY.
CPT (RET) William Lillis, '52, Frontline Platoon Leader of 3rd Platoon, Echo Co. 180th Infantry, 45th Infantry Div ith US Army United Nations Forces, Korea. Entered civilian life in 1955 but continued serving in various commanding and staff assignments in the US Army Reserves with the 95th Division. He passed in February 2002.
The 2011 Inductees:
MG Vincent E. Boles, '76, served as an Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4 in the Pentagon; Deputy Chief of Staff for Ammunition; Commander of Army's Field Support Command; Commander of Army Materiel Command; Commanding General of the 3rd Corps Support Command; Army's 33rd Chief of Ordnance. He retired October 1, 2009 after 33 years of service.
BG Joseph F. Conlon III, '64, Distinguished Military Graduate of ROTC Program at Niagara University; Platoon Leader; Company Commander Company C, 1st Battalion 504th Infantry 82nd Airborne Division; joined the Army Reserves in 1967; Commander of 340th and the 310th Military Police Battalion; Executive Officer and Deputy Commander of 800th Military Police Brigade and later assumed command; Deputy Commanding General for Rear Battle Operations, Provost Marshal of the Eastern Provinces; Military Mayor of Khobar Village; Deputy Chief of Staff, Research, Development and Engineers, Headquarters, US Materiel Command. As a 30-year veteran, he retired July 6, 1994 and passed away June 23, 2009.
BG Robert J. Winzinger, '66, Headquarters Battery Commander of 3rd Battalion 43rd Artillery; Regional/Popular Forces Advisor with Advisory Team 18 Military Assistance Command; Prestigious Graduate of US Army War College; Reserve Officer; RSC Personnel Staff Officer; Inspector General; Deputy Chief for the Army Reserve in the Pentagon; Deputy Commanding General 77th ARCOM. Retired in 2000.
COL Thomas A. Blanchfield, '51, Rifle Platoon Leader of the 32nd Infantry, 7th Division; Silver Star Recipient; Battalion Commander for the 98th Infantry Division. Retired from the US Army Reserves in 1983.
COL Donald H. Jones, '61, Platoon Leader for 4th Platoon, B Co, B/327th Airborne Battle Group, 101st Airborne Division; Assigned to the 10th and 5th Special Forces Group; G3 with 3rd Armor Division; Army Staff College graduate; Procurement Officer in the Training & Doctrine Command; Deputy Chief of Staff in the Pentagon; Commander of the Defense Contract Administration Management Area.
LTC John F. Fielding, '61, Cum Laude Graduate; Rifle Platoon Leader; Battalion Communications, Training & Intelligence Officer of the 35th; Commander of A Company; Infantry Tactics Instructor at US Army Signal School in NJ; Civil Affairs Officer, 3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division; Executive Officer 5th Battalion 60th Infantry; Operations Officer, 2nd Battalion 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division; Investigations Officer with the Office of the Inspector General; G3 with the 78th Training Division; Deputy Post Commander of Personnel and Community Affairs. Retired in 1984 after 22 years of service.
LTC Lawrence W. Yager, '61, Purple Heart Award Recipient for being shot down and wounded during his assignment with the 128th Aviation Company; Flight Instuctor; Operations Research Systems Analyst for the Transportation Combat Development Command; Assistant Program Manager for the production of the Black Hawk Helicopter System; Retired in 1983 after 21 years of service.
1LT John T. Mitchell, Jr., '51, Platoon Leader with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division; Notable reinforcement for Company K in Korea 1952; Night-time Operations Officer 2nd Division Headquarters.
The 2010 Inductees:
COL Neal Delisanti, '67, served as Battalion Commander of the 51st Air Defense Artillery; Brigade Commander of the 69th Air Defense Artillery, Germany; Battalion Executive Officer, Artillery Group Operations and Department of Military Strategy at the US Army War College.
COL Kevin F. Harrington, '67, served as Operations Officer of the 800th Military Police Brigade; Commander of the 310th Military Police Battalion; Commandant of the 1154th United States Army Reserve School; Commander of the 5th Brigade of the 98th Division; Commander of the 344th Combat Support Hospital; founder of the Armed Forces Reserve Assistance Fund.
CSM Fred E. Kirtchen, '80, served as the Senior Military Science Instructor of Niagara University ROTC Battalion; exemplary member of the US Army; Command Sergeant Major for the Special Forces.
The 2009 Inductees:
LTC John R. Fanelli, '59, served as a Medical Officer in the rank of Captain. He became the Commanding Officer of the 18th US Army Security Agency Field Station in Munich, Germany and was the only American Doctor. He returned to the US and did his residency in Syracuse, NY, passed the board exam and practice outside his home in Orchard Park, NY. He commissioned into the US Army Reserves with the 338th General Hospital and volunteered with the 302nd Medical Battalion for NATO.
COL Martin R. Loftus, '57, served as a Launcher Platoon Leader, Movement Officer, Chief of Passenger Division, Assistant Professor of Military Science at Carroll University, Senior Transportation Advisor to the Vietnamese Army in I Corps, Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff Logistics for US Army Vietnam, Legal Advisor to the Commander Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, and his final assignment of Staff Judge Advocate for various major Army Commands.
COL Robert Michael Asiello, '66, served in various positions including C-Co, 4th BN 37th Armor, HHT 1/10 Cav, 4th ID, HQ US Army Quartermaster Center and the Command and General Staff College. COL Asiello served for 27 years and earned the rank of full Colonel.
LTC Edmund J. O’Grady, '56, served as a Field Artillery Officer in various positions including Platoon Leader, Battery Commander, Battalion Executive Officer and Training and Security Officer. He retired in 1976.
The 2008 Inductees:
MAJ Patrick De Biase, '42, served in the Army Quartermaster Corp during WWII. He was a Supply Officer on General Eisenhower’s staff. Is one of the five brothers whom all served in World War II. Retiring in 1982.
1LT Richard J. Dobmeier, '50, served in the 40th Infantry Division Medium Tank Company and the 160th Infantry Regiment. A Veteran of the Korean War. Richard helped establish a committee to resurrect a Korean War Monument at Niagara University in which they unveilied on October 6, 2001.
COL Richard J. McManus, '52, served in the 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division, and the 101st Airborne Infantry Division. Retired with 28 years of service. Works as an Administrator and Director of Human Resourses for a variety of Washington Law Firms.
COL Richard M. Rodney, '52, served in the 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, and the 25th Infantry Division. After serving 32 years in the United States Army he retired.
LTC Scott J. Pautz, '80, served in the 411th Military Police Company, the 720th MP Battalion and various Units within the Reserve Forces. Retired with 24 years of military service and is currently Town Justice for the Town of Horseheads, NY and a partner of a Law Firm.
LTC Richard Walsh, '58, served in the 1st Battalion, 504th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Battalion, 5th Calvalry retiring in 1976.
The 2007 Inductees:
COL Nicholas Grunzweig, '42, served in the 3rd Infantry Division in WWII and the 7th Infantry Division in Korea. Retired with 30 years of service and moved to Iowa and worked as the Director of Mental Health and Retardation with the Iowa Department of Human Services until 1979. He passed away in February 2007.
REV LT Thomas Conway, '30, served as a Navy Chaplain on the USS Indianapolis in WWII. He swam to the aid of his shipmates, reassuring them and praying with them for three nights in the water until he himself expired. This was the greatest navel disaster after Pearl Harbor. He was the last Catholic Chaplain to die in WWII.
MAJ John Rubins, '53, served over 14 years in 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Battalion S3, 1st Battalion, 2d Training Regiment, Basic; Trainfire Committee Chief and as a Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General. Killed in action in Vietnam 1967.
COL Paul Somerville, 57, served 30 years in the service. Served in various locations to include: Germany, Georgia, Vietnam, at the Pentagon, on the Turkish/Iragi border, Korea and Virginia.
The 2006 Inductees:
LTC James R. Kellmurray, '40, a member of the first official ROTC class at Niagara, LTC Kellmurray served in the 1st Infantry Division during WWII and saw action on Omaha Beach during the D-Day Invasion. Wounded in Belgium, LTC Kellmurray continued serving our country for 37 years.
2LT William K. Bruce, '51, served as a rifle platoon leader in F Company, 31st Regiment. 2LT Bruce lost his life while engaging the enemy in Korea on November 3, 1952.
2LT Samuel J. Rangatore, '51, served as a rifle platoon leader in the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division. 2LT Bruce lost his life when an artillery round impacted on his position in Korea.
COL Fredrick J. Scullin, Jr., '61, an Airborne Ranger who served with the 1-503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam. Retired from the military after 30 years of active and reserve service. Currently, COL Scullin is the Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court, Northern District with senior status.
The 2005 Inductees:
LTC Terry K. Crowe, '82, recently KIA in Tal Afar, Iraq. Prior to deploying, he was serving as Assistant Professor of Military Science at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.
MAJ Vincent J. "Coach" Lombardi Jr., '88, a U.S. Army Ranger, involved in Operation Urgent Fury. Coach died from carcinoid cancer on 18 February 2003.
BG James G. Shanahan, '42, served in the 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division as Platoon Leader and Company Commander in World War II. Later he commanded the 1-38th Infantry, 2d Infantry Division in Korea and the 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam. He also served as Assistant Division Commander of 3d Infantry Division in Germany. He commanded at platoon, company, battalion and brigade levels; received three Combat Infantry Badges, having fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.