NSU’s Office of Military Services and Veterans Affairs sponsored a Veterans Day observance last week at the Student Center. NSU President and CEO Eddie N. Moore Jr., a Navy veteran, provided a warm welcome to the group, thanking everyone for their attendance and service. “We have a proud tradition of ROTC at this institution. I’m in negotiations now with an admiral in the Coast Guard to bring their program to NSU,” Moore told the gathering. About 75 students, faculty administrators and ROTC cadets participated in the observance that also featured a resounding rendition of the National Anthem by the NSU Vocal Jazz Ensemble directed by Professor Frank T. Elliott.
Guest speaker for the event was Captain Douglas J. Beaver, USN and commander of the world’s largest naval base — Naval Station Norfolk. A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Beaver graduated from Virginia Tech and was commissioned through the NROTC in June 1991. He’s held several different assignments with the fleet including a stint onboard the USS Constellation and the USS George Washington. Beaver commanded the Screwtops of VAW-123 as maintenance officer onboard the USS Enterprise supporting combat missions in the Fifth Fleet area of operations. His shore duty tours include the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the Airborne Early Warning Wing Atlantic, the U.S. Fleet Forces Command and others. He earned an executive master of business degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2014.
“The roots of Veterans Day go back to WWI when on the 11th hour, the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 a great victory was won,” Beaver said. “Each year, we observe great deeds by men and women who have confronted evil that should be honored and remembered. To honor such bravery . . . it is befitting to have ceremonies like this one.” Beaver told the group about NSU alumna Rear Admiral Evelyn Fields who began her career after leaving NSU with NOAA. “She was the first female officer to command a NOAA ship and the first African-American to command a ship for an extended period of time. Admiral Fields retired in 2003 after serving 25 years. She is one of the many veterans who have gone on to do great things after leaving NSU.”