Brown Alumni Veteran's Alumni Council

Fall Newsletter

December 6, 2018

Dear Brown veterans and supporters,

The Brown University Veterans Alumni Council (BUVAC) has made great strides since launching in March. We kicked off the veteran-student mentoring program, which has now expanded from three mentor/mentee pairs to ten. BUVAC also sponsored an Alumni Reunion Forum during Reunion Weekend, which featured Adam Levine, associate professor of emergency medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School, and was a standing-room-only success. Finally, the Veterans Day activities on campus expanded to include a morning forum with Senator Jack Reed and moderated by BUVAC committee member Col. Ben Cassidy ’75 followed by a moving ceremony and lunch reception.

We hope to see you on campus this Memorial Day Weekend for the annual Graduating Veterans Recognition, Commissioning Ceremony and Reception on May 25!

In the meantime, if you have classmates who might be interested in Brown military-affiliated news and events, they may email to be added to our email list. We are excited to spread the word about BUVAC and share news about Brown veteran and ROTC students.


Larry Eichler P’09

Co-President, BUVAC

Joseph H. Santarlasci Jr. ’67

Co-President, BUVAC

A look back at Veterans Day 2018

Veterans, College Hill and Beyond: A Conversation with U.S. Senator Jack Reed

One day after the centennial anniversary of Armistice Day, alumni and student veterans, staff, and friends gathered at Brown for a special Veterans Day forum. Emcee BUVAC President Larry Eichler P’09 introduced BUVAC board member Ben Cassidy ’75 who led an engaging conversation with the Honorable Jack Reed—an Army veteran and United States senator representing Rhode Island—about what led him to initially serve in the military and then pursue a civilian life dedicated to public service.

Reed spoke about his time as a West Point Cadet and Instructor and Army service as leading to a life of service and purpose. “The Army was remarkably fulfilling to me,” he said. “Getting up every morning and doing something for my country was an incredible thing to be able to do.”

Also highlighted during the forum is the work being done by Robin Ness, senior library specialist at the John Hay Library, who researches Brown’s role during WWI and the sacrifice of 42 faculty and students overseas.

See local coverage of the Veterans Day Forum and Ceremony.

Forum: Jack Reed

Concluding Veterans Day Ceremony

Following the forum, speakers paid tribute to the past and honored the sacrifices of veterans of today in a moving Veterans Day ceremony near Soldiers Arch.

See more Brown coverage of this special day.

Veterans Ceremony

BUVAC’s pilot mentoring program: an update

20 participants strong!

BUVAC’s pilot mentoring program has more than tripled in size! Last winter, the small program—managed by Alumni Relations—launched with three student veterans paired with three Brown veteran alumni mentors. As of September, the program has expanded to ten mentoring pairs. Over the course of the school year, mentees are exploring topics such as goal setting, internships, broadening their networks, and learning about post-graduation military experience. The goal? To help mentees graduate with a solid transitional road map to navigate their journey from military to student to civilian.

Passing down practical tips

By providing an opportunity to learn from their professional and personal experiences, alumni mentors aim to offer practical advice to mentees as they navigate their time at Brown and prepare for graduation. In addition to access to their mentors, mentees in the program will receive guidance from two veteran mentor alumni champions, Scott Quigley ’05 and Jeremy McKenzie MMP’16. Scott has volunteered to serve as the BUVAC alumni liaison for the program and Jeremy is the program’s official Brown Alumni Association (BAA) liaison.

Career coach Discovery session

After the Veterans Day Ceremonies on November 12, mentees met with veteran career coach Natascha Saunders to discuss their challenges and opportunities for the 2018-2019 academic year. Challenges include: managing family/household responsibilities as an adult learner, life after Brown decision-making for family, finding veteran/military-friendly internships, and access to a small veteran network. On the flip side, mentees find their connections to other veterans and RUE (Resumed Undergraduate Education) networking events to be great resources. One returning mentee, Davin Lewis ’20, shared how the resume help he received from Saunders and his mentor helped him to secure a job; in fact, he is the first undergraduate veteran from Brown University (and possibly all the Ivy Leagues) his new employer has hired.

Meet Kimberly Millette:
Program Director, Office of Student Veterans and Commissioning Programs

Kimberly Millette

“I hope to create an environment on campus that is supportive and welcoming of our veteran and commissioning students by collaborating with financial aid and admissions to enact more veteran-friendly policies,” she says.“I also aim to grow our veteran numbers to be more representative of the national veteran community.”

Learn more about Millette’s role supporting and advocating for students who have served, are serving, or are interested in serving in the United States military.

Brown veteran students in the news

Over the last few months, veteran students and their experiences on campus have been featured in a several articles published by Brown such as:

  • Diving in: Navy Veteran Takes on New Mission as a Brunonian (Brunonia):
    Naval SEAL Team Six veteran James Fox ’19 finds the Brown community welcoming and supportive.
  • Students Who Have Served (Brown Alumni Magazine):
    Veteran students who have served in the Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, and Navy find their way on campus.
  • Lean on Me (Brown Medicine Magazine):
    When Scott Pfirrman MD’20 and Tom Lopardo MD’20 met at Warren Alpert Medical School, they not only discovered they had served in the same battalion in Afghanistan, but they also found a place that values its veteran students.

Save the date!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Graduating Veterans Recognition, Commissioning Ceremony and Reception

Honor veteran classmates, celebrate the success of graduating student veterans and witness the commissioning of graduating ROTC students as they begin their careers in the armed forces. Details to come.

Brown University campus