Pamplin’s second annual Salute to Veterans Day: The Embodiment of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve)
December 7, 2022
The Pamplin College of Business held its second annual “Salute to Veterans Day: The Embodiment of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve)” on Friday, Nov. 11.
The program kicked off with comments from cadets Andrew Chun ’24 and Yollande Djossou ’24, who served as emcees for the celebration. Pamplin’s Interim Dean Robin Russell offered opening remarks to all faculty, staff, students, friends, and families, referencing the importance of Veterans Day and her connection.
“This is a wonderful program to honor our veterans. You have given us so much and it is our pleasure to be able to give you the respect that you deserve and to acknowledge your contributions,” said Russell. “What an incredible gift you have given to us; the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country and defend democracy around the world.”
Svetlana Filiatreau, director of Virginia Tech’s BIT-Cybersecurity and Analytics Program, shared personal stories about her journey that ventured from Ukraine to Canada, and finally to the United States. Filiatreau described her experiences of leaving Ukraine with dreams of a brighter future for her child and herself. Those dreams came to fruition in 2003 when she and her daughter arrived in the United States.
“The example of U.S. veterans speaks volumes today,” said Filiatreau. “They embody the best that this nation has. They have stepped up for our country and joined shoulder-to-shoulder with other countries fighting for freedom, without taking over those countries. They embody the values of bravery and courage in fighting oppressive regimes. The selfless service of U.S. veterans throughout the world has set an example of standing up to fight for what is worth fighting for.”
Chan Kim, a combat medic and recent graduate of Pamplin’s MSBA-BA program, facilitated a panel discussion with three military service leaders and current Pamplin graduate students to bring forth their diverse experiences. Captain Joshua L. Raphaelson (MSBA-BA), a marine officer instructor and naval reserve officer training corps, Lieutenant James Whittlesey (online MBA), an assistant professor of naval science, and Captain Collin Chew (online MBA), a solutions architect at Amazon web services, each provided insightful remarks, discussed social and academic transitions, empowered the next generation of leaders, and described how they embraced the call to serve through education, mentorship, and storytelling.
The program concluded with a special tribute video that honored esteemed veterans and active-duty persons who, despite the risk and sacrifice, have served and defended our country. Closing remarks were offered by Janice Branch Hall, the associate dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging.
“It has been a great honor to celebrate all our veterans on this special occasion,” says Hall. “The Pamplin College of Business and the Office for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging will continue to illuminate the experiences of our veteran community, show our gratitude, and offer exceptional care to those who have given so much.”
A first-ever commemorative “challenge” coin in honor of Veterans Day was designed and offered to all in-person and virtual attendees. Proceeds from Operation Hat Trick, the University Bookstore pop-up-shop of VT branded military appreciation apparel, went to support Virginia Tech veteran-student scholarships and related initiatives, and veterans and wounded service members of the Richmond Fisher House.
- Written by A’me Dalton