Veterans Day Tribute

I want to welcome and salute all our veterans here today, and those watching on our livestream. Veterans Day marks an important moment to show our enduring gratitude and respect both for all who have served in the United States Armed Forces and for their families.

We can never fully repay our debt to those who answered the call to military service and risked their lives in defense of our country. These patriots have epitomized the timeless virtues of honor, integrity, selflessness and courage.

We also honor the spouses, partners and children of our service members for their sacrifices and support. …

On this and every Veterans Day, we remember and honor our veterans’ service. Those who are members of the Drexel family and the wider community… Those who have recently passed away ... And those who made the ultimate sacrifice while they served ...

On this occasion, we especially remember Drexel alumnus and U.S. Navy lieutenant Christopher Mosko, who was tragically killed in Afghanistan in 2012. Chris graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in commerce and engineering from Drexel’s LeBow College of Business. Chris was a beloved husband, son and friend — known for his compassion, loyalty and winning smile. 

Even as we mourn his loss, we will always honor Lt. Christopher Mosko for giving — in Lincoln’s immortal words — “the last full measure of devotion” to our country. Christopher’s memory will always be for a blessing at Drexel. I want to welcome the parents of Chris Mosko — Gayle and John Mosko — and thank them for honoring us with their presence today.

To all the members of our military community here, thank you for your brave and selfless service, and for continuing to contribute mightily, here at Drexel and beyond. There is no greater way to demonstrate our commitment to serving those who have served our country than by offering a friendly environment and resources that empower their career goals and success.

Drexel is honored to be the university of choice for more than 600 student veterans and military dependents. We are perennially ranked among the country’s most military-friendly schools. This year, we are especially proud to be ranked by Military Times as the very best “Best for Vets” private college or university in the Mid-Atlantic region. Drexel is also proud to be the top-ranked university in Philadelphia to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. The Yellow Ribbon Program is a flourishing partnership between Drexel and the federal government that has enable thousands of veterans and their dependents to attend Drexel tuition-free. This is our way of saying thank you to those who answered the call after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

In addition, the ranks of our faculty, professional staff and alumni include many individuals who have served and sacrificed proudly. I want to assure each of you that our goal at Drexel is to expand and enhance our commitment to the success and future of our student veterans and their families year after year.

This year, we’re taking a step to emphasize the broad focus we have on veterans and military-affiliated students. To do so, we have decided that the Office of Veteran Student Services will now be known by a new name — The Center for Military and Veteran Services.

The commitment, duty and honor of all our military personnel is what keeps America strong and safe. Drexel, in turn, benefits immensely from having veterans and military-affiliated students in our classrooms. Your experiences and views enrich classroom discussions and provide a valued perspective. Thank you, again, for your service.

Before closing, I also want to acknowledge and welcome our featured speaker, Drexel alumna Major Lauren Serrano. I know we are all looking forward to hearing her reflections on this Veterans Day.

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