Veterans’ Recognition Dinner Honors Brave Men and Women

Veterans’ Recognition Dinner Honors Brave Men and Women

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Veterans Day gives all Americans a chance to honor all who have served.

This year, Siena hosted a record number of guests in the Sarazen Student Union for the fifth annual Veteran’s Recognition Dinner. Those in attendance celebrated Veterans who have served and sacrificed to protect our nation. Rob Bahny, director of services for students with disabilities and coordinator of veteran's services, began the evening by noting that Siena College recently recieved a Military Friendly School Designation for the third year in a row.

The event featured a keynote address from Brigadier General (Retired) Kenneth E. Todorov class of 1985.  General Todorov acknowledged the sacrifice and determined character of veterans, active duty members, ROTC cadets and the family members of those who serve. He also spoke about the impact that Siena has had on the lives of veterans.

“At Siena, it goes beyond support of the ROTC program because the College is leading the way when it comes to welcoming back those who have already served and now want to better themselves through experiencing first-hand the Franciscan tradition.”

Colonel (Retired) Kevin T. Hanretta class of 1968 was inducted into the Mohawk Battalion Hall of Fame during the special campus event. Hanretta was Regular Army officer for 30 years following his graduation from Siena.  As his career progressed, Hanretta distinguished himself through his dedication to assignments and has received many awards. Currently, Hanretta is the Assistant Secretary for Operations, Security, and Preparedness at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He truly believes that his time at Siena shaped him as a person, and has worn his Siena College ring throughout his entire career.

“I can’t tell you how important Siena was in building my ability to be able to give back and serve this great nation. The Catholic core values that I learned and embraced at Siena have given me the courage to span that 30 year military career and 15 years at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

Both Hanretta and General Todorov reflected on the importance of embracing the College’s Franciscan values as they served our nation.

This year’s recipients of the Siena College Veteran and Cadet Awards were Kandice Griffin ’18 and Joseph Steidle ’18. The students will receive $1,000 scholarships from Siena’s Veteran and Cadet Fund, established by alumni veterans for the benefit of Siena students who are cadets or veterans.

Griffin’s dedication to the community through organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association and Operation Smile made her an ideal candidate for the Veteran Award. Steidle’s passion for the Franciscan values and traditions has made him a standout applicant for the Cadet Award.

The 2015 Veterans Recognition Dinner was sponsored by Peter J. Lattimore ’68, Trustee Robert McCormick ’87, Trustco Bank and W.B. Mason.