Cal State Fullerton’s student veterans have spent years serving the nation at home and abroad, representing the five military branches — Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard — and providing a wide range of service.
At the 8th annual Veterans Appreciation Night, almost 30 student veterans, of 172 scheduled to graduate, were honored for their academic achievements, community engagement and service to the Student Veterans’ Association.
“Tonight is our opportunity to tell you that we are in awe of who you are, where you are going and how you continue to help,” said Lui Amador, director of the campus Veterans Resource Center.
In addressing the students and their families, Bobby McDonald ’75 (B.S. physical education), shared some of the highlights of his education. A Vietnam vet, McDonald serves as third district representative chair of the Orange County Veterans Advisory Council and as president and executive director of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Orange County.
“To our veterans: we ARE the leaders our boot camp drill sergeants, company commanders and officers made us out to be,” he said. “Your military service has taught you to be sharp, disciplined, on time, forward-moving and dedicated to getting the job done.
“Your education provides opportunities to continue to grow. You meet new people and build relationships. These are critical skills as you graduate and move on to the next phase of your lives.”
As part of the evening’s festivities, two $1,000 Veteran Scholarship for Success awardees were named: Deanne Locker, who served in the U.S. Army; and Maria Lucia Aguirre, Navy.
This year’s graduates, their majors, cities or residence and branch of service, are:
Eric Arce – Business Administration, Irvine, Marines
Thanh Bui – English, El Monte, Marines
Karina Cortes – Psychology, Laguna Hills, Navy
David Flores – Criminal Justice, Whittier, Marines
Tristan Foust – Psychology, Fullerton, Marines
Luise Gautam– Criminal Justice, Fullerton, Marines
Wayne Hansen. Human Services, Long Beach, Navy
Jessica Harvey – Business Administration-Marketing, Long Beach, Navy
Amber Hoang – Human Services, Long Beach
Esmeralda Isordia – Criminal Justice, La Puente, Navy
Hidy Lopez – Health Science, Fullerton, Marines
Ricardo Lopez – Criminal Justice, Anaheim
Tabatha Maddox – Human Services, Fullerton, Army
Yareli Mendoza – Political Science, Santa Ana, Air Force
Jesus Navarro – Nursing, Tustin, Marines
Juan José Salas – Spanish, Pomona, Marines
Ana Santillan – History, Santa Ana
David Tibbs – History, Lake Forest
Masterking Todd – Business Administration-Finance, Placentia
Rina Weaver – Communications, Fullerton, Air Force
Theo Young – Business Administration-Finance, Chino, Air Force
Martin Zapien – Political Science, Santa Ana
Steve Zappa – English, Fullerton, Marines
More images from the event can be found on flickr.