Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lutes give Andersons farewell salute

By Amelia Heath, News Editor

Campus ROTC program honors president as his final year comes to a close.

As the end of spring semester comes near, some campus organizations prepare for the end of Loren Anderson’s legacy as Pacific Lutheran University president.

PLU’s  Army ROTC battalion fell into formation immediately following their Wednesday morning physical training to honor president  Anderson for their support of the program.

Human Resources technician Bob Rahal came up with the idea last month to thank president Anderson for supporting the PLU ROTC program.

“He’s always been  - him and the Provost - have alternated every year at our commissioning ceremony since I’ve been here,” Rahal said.

PLU gained its ROTC program in 1991. Since then, the university has commissioned 348 2nd lieutenants and will commission 22 more next month at the Mary Baker Russel Music Center.

Professor of military silence Lt. Col. Jason Shrader brought Anderson and his wife, Mary, onto the Olson auditorium stage in front of the 114-cadet battalion.

Shrader presented Mary Anderson with a bouquet of flowers and gave president Anderson this year’s Army ROTC t-shirt, a plaque and an Army ROTC coin.

Anderson spoke briefly to the battalion after receiving his gifts.

“The military of our country has been asked to take on new and different, more challenging assignments than ever before, both in terms of fighting the war and in keeping peace,” Anderson said, “and so I really admire your willingness to step forward and take on that awesome leadership path for the future.”

Shrader credited Anderson as the founder of the PLU ROTC program.

“He was instrumental in bringing it here and fostering the environment for it to succeed and be an excellent program,” Shrader said. “It’s hard to see him go but we know that he’s laid the foundation for great leadership for years to come.”