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Commitment to serve

September 9th, 2010

In 1951, the first cadet at John Carroll University was sworn in as a second lieutenant. Today, Sept. 9, 2010, fifteen students followed in the cadet’s footsteps, by taking an oath at the JCU Wolfpack Battalion Contracting Ceremony.

The ceremony is the process of making a commitment to serve as an officer on active or reserve duty upon graduation. It is required for all students who either accept a scholarship or enter ‘advanced’ courses, but for most cadets it has deeper meaning.

“[The Contracting Ceremony] sums up what I’ve been waiting for, for a couple of months now. We become part of the ROTC family,” said cadet Jeffery Turner. “I already felt like part of the family, but it puts it in writing.”

Turner, a junior at Cleveland State University, is just one of the cadets contracting that isn’t from JCU. John Carroll plays host to eight schools in the area including: Baldwin-Wallace College, Cleveland State University, Notre Dame College, Case Western Reserve University, Hiram College, Oberlin College, and Ursuline College.

Collectively the students participating in this Contracting Ceremony will receive more than $1 million in scholarships.

While money probably plays a role for some cadets, many have other reasons for contracting as well. JCU sophomore Mary Solak credits her aunt for her initial interest.

“It has been an interest to me ever since I was younger. My aunt was in the army and she was a big influence in my life,” said Solak.

Captain Matthew McGraw, scholarship and enrollment officer for the department of military science (ROTC), is excited to see people like Solak and Turner involved in the program.

“Coming off active duty it is encouraging to see people of this age with this much commitment,” said McGraw.

The Contracting Ceremony was held at 7 a.m. this morning. It was an open community event. The Rev. Robert Niehoff, S.J., and all other university presidents were invited to attend.