Penn College dedicates comprehensive resource for student veterans

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Pennsylvania College of Technology dedicated its Veterans and Military Resource Center on Nov. 10, choosing a solemn weekend of remembrance to invoke the memory of an impressive “fellow soldier.”

Named the Major General Fred F. Marty, USA Retired, Veterans and Military Resource Center — and made possible through the generosity of Marty’s son, Patrick, and family — the facility will provide a site for veteran and active-duty students to gather, collaborate, study and discuss their military benefits with campus mentors.

“For over 100 years, this institution’s focus on applied technology education has been synonymous with a commitment to veterans,” President Davie Jane Gilmour said. “A commitment to providing access to educational opportunities for veterans is woven into the very fabric of Penn College and its predecessors.”

The college is home to 363 veteran students, 71 enrollees who continue to serve in all branches, and 20 ROTC participants.

The unwavering appreciation for their service is reflected across campus, the president said, including nine scholarships specifically for veterans, with a 10th — the Patriot Scholarship — quickly building toward endowment. Still, student veterans with whom she regularly meets had repeatedly noted the lack of designated meeting space.

“It gives me great pride to stand before you today to announce creation of a new campus resource center,” the president said, prior to public tours.

The center was formerly housed within the college's Financial Aid Office and has been moved into more spacious quarters down the hall in the Student and Administrative Services Center, including a common office for ROTC personnel and Chet Beaver, a 25-year Army veteran and coordinator of veteran and military services.

“It has been my experience that veterans are a humble lot, selflessly serving and asking nothing in return,” she said. The resume of the man being honored, however — a man she knew simply as “Fred” — cried out to set humility aside for the day.

His three decades of military service, beginning in 1963, included two tours of duty in Vietnam and four in Germany, commanding field artillery units at every echelon, from battery through corps artillery. His ultimate assignments before retiring in 1992 were as commanding general of Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and concurrent service as commandant of the U.S. Field Artillery School and as the Army’s chief of field artillery.

He was highly decorated throughout his military career, receiving (among numerous commendations) the Distinguished Service Medal, the Army’s highest peacetime award.

“No matter how you knew him, you simply knew that you had his support, trust and wise counsel," the younger Marty, vice president for college relations, said of his father. "Whether you were working for him, along with him or just because he was your friend — and especially if you were a soldier.”

Leaving the military brought more transition than time off, as Maj. Gen. Marty began a second career in public service at his Missouri State University alma mater. His son recalled him saying, “Being around young people keeps you young. If I’m not going to be around soldiers, I’ll be around students.”

The ensuing retirement years brought a variety of vocational responsibilities: Among them were as executive director for the Generations Sports Complex under development near Pennsdale in 2006, Lycoming County’s director of administration/chief clerk in 2007, and a return to Springfield, Missouri, as deputy city manager from 2010-13. He died in November 2013 at age 71.

Also taking part in the dedication were Regina M. Peluzzo, a civil engineering technology major and member of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, who said the college’s accommodations made for a “worry-free” return to academics after her service in Jordan and Qatar; a color guard of ROTC cadets from Bison Batallion, comprising Penn College and four other institutions; and state Sen. Gene Yaw, chair of the college’s board of directors, who worked with Maj. Gen. Marty in Lycoming County government and said he was “proud to be associated with his name and his spirit.”

An American flag was donated to the center by LeRoy O. Buck Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7863, DuBoistown.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, visit www.pct.edu, email admissions@pct.edu or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Last Updated November 13, 2017