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College Cadets, Administration Represented at ‘Dining Out’ Event

The Bison Battalion Army ROTC, comprising Pennsylvania College of Technology and four other Susquehanna Valley institutions, held its annual Dining Out ceremony Nov. 17 at the Kehr Dining Hall at Bloomsburg University.

Penn College Cadets Diego Wilson (left) and Steven Cavanaugh.
Penn College Cadets Diego Wilson (left) and Steven Cavanaugh.

Also known as “Mess Night,” the formal dinner is a tradition long observed by America’s armed forces. Cadets and guests enjoyed the company of one another in a mixture of a social atmosphere and military custom, beginning with a receiving line and posting of the colors.

Cadets then proposed toasts to the United States, President Barack Obama, the Army and the Bison Battalion.

Cadet John Poling, a senior from Susquehanna University, honored an empty table in the corner of the ballroom reserved for the fallen and those still missing.

“I would like to propose a toast that honors our fallen comrades. Let us give thanks for the many blessings we have received. Let us give thanks for the security of the United States of America and for the freedoms we enjoy and experience every day,” he said. “However, let us also remember the great price that has been paid for that freedom too many times. We knew them, we’ll remember them and they will not be forgotten. I propose a toast to our fallen comrades!”

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour encourages cadets in their educational pursuits.
Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour encourages cadets in their educational pursuits.

The toasts were followed by a catered meal from Bloomsburg Dining Services, and guest speaker Lt. Col. Joseph P. Walsh.

He spoke about the values of leadership and citizenship in the world, advising cadets to strive for their maximum potential and praising them for their commitment to their country.

Additional remarks were offered by Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour, who spoke on the importance of education in cadets’ lives. Her husband, Fred, a Penn College alumnus and retiree, also attended, as did Carolyn and Elliott Strickland, the college’s assistant vice president for academic services and chief student affairs officer, respectively.

Lycoming College Cadet Nicholas Boeh, with Johanna Hripto
Lycoming College Cadet Nicholas Boeh, with Johanna Hripto

The evening concluded with the retirement of the colors.

Several Cadets brought guests to the Dining Out event, including Lycoming College Cadet Nicholas Boeh.

“It was a great opportunity for me to introduce my date to the military lifestyle,” he said. “I really enjoyed showing her what the more formal side of Army ROTC is all about.”

Cadets and guests were encouraged to stay for dancing, with music provided by Bucknell University student Michael Green.

Other honored guests included James Brown, Bloomsburg’s dean of liberal arts; Michael Limauro, Weis Markets’ vice president of loss prevention; and Rabbi Nina Mandel, of Sunbury.

Photos provided by Patrick A. Towery, Bison Battalion public affairs officer

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