Fallen PMC Class of ’63 Graduates Remembered at Widener University ROTC Commissioning

May 13, 2011

Widener’s ROTC commissioning ceremony evoked the memory of two 1963 Pennsylvania Military College graduates killed in Vietnam.  Carol DeBunda, widow of Lt. William J. “Buddy” Stephenson, opened the ceremony Thursday by singing the National Anthem.  Stephenson died from wounds after his helicopter was shot down in February 1966.

David McNulty, a member of the PMC class of 1963, presented the saber awarded to the top cadet in the battalion to Widener’s Scott McInerney of Bristol, Pa.  In his remarks, McNulty remembered his classmate Lt. John “Jack” Lance Geoghegan, a highly decorated student who was presented with the saber in 1963 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the PMC Commencement.  Geoghegan died two years later in Vietnam in 1965 while trying to aid one of his men who had been wounded.  “Jack’s death was like his life – virtuous and noble,” McNulty said.

Lt. Col Jon J. Peterson, ROTC battalion commander and professor of military science, who is retiring this year, presented McNulty with a saber replica in recognition of his participation in the ceremony for many years.

For more on Thursday’s ceremony, read the press release, and for more about the ROTC program, see the article in the spring 2010 issue of Widener Magazine.



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