Learn and serve

September 15, 2010

There is no more appropriate place to honor the freedoms and ideals set forth in the U.S. Constitution than at Bradley University, an institution founded on the principles of liberty, equality, and the indiscriminate opportunity to learn and prosper.

Students, faculty, and area community members gathered on Olin Quad Wednesday for a noontime ceremony to mark Constitution Day and recognize those in our Bradley family who actively defend America’s defining document.

The Bradley Symphonic Winds set the tone with patriotic selections before Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Alan Galsky called for a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. David Glassman explained the reason Bradley University pauses each year to mark Constitution Day.

“The Constitution is a hallmark of American culture that allows all of us here at Bradley to embrace our individualism and grants us the freedom to learn and prosper at this wonderful university,” said Glassman.

Guest speaker Major Antwine Williams-Smith is an associate professor of military science at Bradley, as well as an 18-year veteran of the U.S. Army. She spoke of America’s defining moments, the tragedies and challenges each generation has faced, and the role the Constitution has played in pulling us through.

“When this nation has its next defining moment, take comfort in our Constitution. Use it as a guiding force. No other document in our history stands as a better example of the American ideal,” said Maj. Williams-Smith.

Bradley ROTC cadets Nathaniel Zimmerly and Margarita Rosiles were sworn in during Wednesday’s ceremony, solidifying their intent to serve in the U.S. Army following graduation.

Zimmerly, a senior in construction management, said the combination of classroom instruction and leadership training he gets as an ROTC cadet at Bradley will help him make an impact around the world. Soon after he leaves the Hilltop, he will lead a platoon of some 40 soldiers charged with building roads and schools in developing countries.

Junior math and economics major Margarita Rosiles plans to follow in Maj. Williams-Smith’s footsteps and pursue military intelligence. Rosiles joined ROTC as an opportunity to serve her country while building friendships on campus.

“ROTC is a growing program at Bradley, and it’s another great opportunity for students to come together as family,” said Rosiles.

Bradley’s Student Body President Nick Swiatkowski, who appeared in his Coast Guard Auxiliary uniform, asked those in attendance to consider the enduring significance of the Constitution.

“I hope that today you will take time to reflect upon your life and realize all the rights and freedoms you enjoy day-to-day, all of which can be tied back to our Constitution, the core of our American lifestyle and values,” said Swiatkowski.