HPU hosts annual Veterans Day celebration


On Friday, Nov. 11, High Point University held its Veterans Day celebration in the Millis Athletic and Convocation Center at 8 a. m. More than 1,100 veterans and volunteers attended the event.

There was a complimentary breakfast for all as the North Carolina Brass Band performed in the prelude. To start the celebration, HPU’s Chamber Singers sang the National Anthem. Prior to the National Anthem, the HPU ROTC program members performed the presentation of colors.

The first speaker of the celebration was Larry Quinn. Quinn is the chair of the department of marketing and director of the professional selling program at HPU. Quinn is a veteran of the U. S. Navy and a recipient of two Combat War Medals. He discussed the sacrifices that veterans make and why it is important to honor them and recognize their heroic actions. He mentioned who would be speaking for the remainder of the event, and then he introduced HPU’s president, Nido Qubein.

Qubein spoke on the importance of patriotism because the proud men and women of our military put their lives at risk for our country each and every day. He then introduced the next speaker, Jeffrey J. Golden.

Golden is a Ward 1 Councilman on the High Point City Council. He is also a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. He explained how honoring veterans is a big part of the city’s culture.

Retired Major General and former Commanding General of the U. S. Army Kevin G. O’Connell also spoke at the event. An HPU alum, O’Connell explained how High Point helped him realize that he was destined for a career in the military. Telling his guidance counselor at the time that he was interested in a career where he could help people, he was instructed to look into joining the ROTC program. He continued to explain how members of the military are just doing their best at trying to make the world a better place by doing whatever they can to help others.

At this time in the celebration, Qubein went on to honor each branch of the military, the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Navy, and Army, by inviting them to stand, one branch at a time, to be honored by the crowd while their military branch anthem was played.

Celia Sandys, the granddaughter of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, spoke next. Sandys focused on the importance of service and sacrifice. Talking about the importance of serving one’s country and making sacrifices that benefit others, she explained the reasoning behind her grandfather’s sacrifice when he resigned from the British government to rejoin the British Army at the beginning of World War I.

Ryan Leonard, HPU junior and philanthropy chair of Kappa Sigma fraternity, spoke about his fraternity’s efforts to contribute to Military Heroes Campaign. This campaign is designed to give back to the brave men and women who put their lives at risk to protect the freedoms of our great country. Following was Michael Esposito, HPU senior and the president of Kappa Alpha Order. He spoke about his fraternity’s fundraising for The Independence Fund. Kappa Alpha Order raised more than $26,000 for a wounded veteran’s track chair and other handicap equipment.

High Point’s Chamber Singers performed two more songs, singing “America the Beautiful” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

To finish the event, Qubein returned to the stage and said, “High Point University is a God, family, and country school.”

Campus Chronicle
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