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ROTC commissions new officers from the College

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

LAWRENCE – Members of the Army and Air Force ROTC programs at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas along with other members of the Army, Air Force, Naval Reserve and Marines ROTC programs, as well as officer candidates, were commissioned in a joint ceremony. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little attended the event to recognize the students.

The Navy-option and Marine-option NROTC students were commissioned by Brig. Gen. John Simmons, Commanding General of Training Command, Quantico, Virginia, at the ceremony, which was May 19. More than 200 people attended the event.

Commissioning was the culmination of a long training path for these former midshipmen. “I can't wait to get out to the fleet,” said ENS Reston Bishop, one of the newly commissioned officers, from Springfield, Missouri.

During his commencement address, Simmons expressed words of encouragement, and he discussed leadership and the future responsibilities of the officers. He described the oath and offered words of wisdom garnered over his vast career experience.

Simmons administered the oath of office to the group of new officers from all four military branches simultaneously.

Commanding officers presenting the commissions were Lt. Col. Storm Reynolds, professor of military science; Lt. Col. Brian Salmans, professor of aerospace studies; and Capt. David Schweizer, professor of naval science. The chancellor and Senior Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, Sara Rosen, were distinguished guests.

The newly commissioned officers in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are listed below by name, hometown and area of study: 


2nd Lt. Andrew Acosta, Los Angeles, genetics          

2nd Lt. Courtney Brungardt, Rossville, history and geography

2nd Lt. Andrew Grieve, Fort Collins, Colorado, psychology 

2nd Lt. Stuart McConnell, Newton, film and media studies

2nd Lt. Danny Portillo, Santa Ana, California, applied behavioral science

2nd Lt. Austin J. Simons, Lawrence, history

2nd Lt. Daniel Stork, Leawood, psychology

2nd Lt. Howard Ting, Galloway, New Jersey, biology

2nd Lt. Madeline Wilcox, Leavenworth, political science 

Air Force:

2nd Lt. McKenna Hall, Lansing, communications studies

2nd Lt. Margaret Schuetz, Holton, biochemistry

KU is one of only 50 universities in the nation offering an ROTC program that represents all branches of the military. KU’s ROTC program also trains cadets from Baker University, Haskell Indian Nations University, Mid-America Nazarene University, University of Saint Mary, Washburn University and Benedictine University.