Brown Alumni Veteran's Alumni Council

Spring Newsletter

Dear Brown veterans and supporters,

Now in its second year, the Brown Veterans Alumni Council (BUVAC) continues to attract more alumni and expand its scope! We have built a positive reputation on campus—and beyond—by providing valuable engagement opportunities for Brown alumni, raising awareness of veterans on campus, and engaging veteran students through mentoring.

Just two weeks away, this Commencement/Reunion Weekend, May 24 – 26, 2019, will include an intriguing forum on the Vietnam War experience as well as the annual Graduating Veterans Recognition and Commissioning Ceremony.

Please reserve November 11 for our Veterans Day ceremony, which will include a luncheon and program at the John Hay Library.

If you know other Brown alumni who are veterans or friends of the veteran community, please encourage them to email to be added to our recipient list for newsletters and event invitations.


Larry Eichler P’09

Co-President, BUVAC

Joseph H. Santarlasci Jr. ’67

Co-President, BUVAC

Council Convenes on Campus

On Friday, March 8, several student veteran participants in the BUVAC Mentoring Program joined Kimberly Millette, program director for the Office of Military-Affiliated Students, and the BUVAC Advisory Board for lunch at the Brown Faculty Club. The lunch was followed by the BUVAC Advisory Board meeting.

Peter Harrington, curator of the John Hay Library, presented an excellent overview of the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection during the meeting. The collection, the foremost American assemblage of material devoted to the history and iconography of soldiers and soldiering, is one of the world’s largest collections devoted to the study of military and naval uniforms. The collection spans from 1500 to 1945 and has been the subject of various articles and books. Said Larry Eichler P’09, president of the BUVAC Advisory Board: “It is truly a treasure and I highly recommend it to any campus visitors.”

A print of a man on a horse

Remington, Frederic, “A cavalry officer” (1901). Prints, Drawings and Watercolors from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.

Brown University Archives and the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection seek donations to build an archive of materials relating to recent conflicts. Donations such as veterans’ letters, diaries, maps, photographs, pamphlets and books would complement similar material donated in the 1990s by World War II veterans. For more information, please contact

BUVAC Mentoring Program Grows

Since its launch in 2018, the BUVAC Mentoring Program’s mentor-mentee pairs have increased from three to 10. “Student veterans on campus face a unique set of challenges for a college student—re-integrating into the classroom environment, managing families, pursuing a second career, interviewing as a non-standard candidate, among others,” said BUVAC Board Member Scott Quigley ’05, who directs the program. “Other veterans who have navigated the complex transition from the military, back to school, and into the workforce are invaluable resources. The BUVAC Mentoring Program serves to connect these two groups of veterans at Brown. To date, the results have been positive; the impact tangible. The challenge now is to scale the program and the BUVAC has been instrumental in this effort.”

Meet Student-Veterans Joel Fudge ’20 and Aimee Chartier ’20

Aimee Chartier '20 and Joel Fudge '20 in front of flags

Environmental science concentrator Joel Fudge ’20 and political science concentrator Aimee Chartier ’20 enrolled at Brown through its Resumed Undergraduate Education (RUE) program. The husband-and-wife veterans and first-generation college students both had relatives who had served in the military. Joel, a former reconnaissance Marine, and Aimee, a former intelligence specialist, discussed their experiences as student-veterans:


Aimee: “When I was growing up in Warwick, I never thought I’d go to college, let alone Brown. I lacked discipline in high school, but the Marine Corps taught me valuable life skills about hard work and discipline. We had moved back to Rhode Island and enrolled at the Community College of Rhode Island. Carol Panaccione, our German professor there, pushed us to apply to Brown.”

Joel: “I grew up in a small town, Cathlamet, in southwest Washington State. I was a good high school student; I wasn’t focused on college, but on being the best Marine I could be. I had never outgrown my childhood desire to join the Marines. We wanted to stay in Rhode Island, but Brown wasn’t on my radar until Aimee found the RUE program.”

Read more on Brunonia.

BUVAC Board Member Spotlight

Ben Cassidy

The Honorable Ben Cassidy ’75, a retired Marine Colonel, is currently Commissioner for the American Battle Monuments Commission in Washington, DC.

Colonel Cassidy retired from the United States Marine Corps in 2002, after his 26-year career as an infantry officer assigned to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Marine Divisions. Born in Massachusetts, he holds a B.A. in International Relations and Latin American Studies from Brown University.

Why did you join BUVAC and what impact do you hope it will have at Brown?

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be part of the Brown University Veterans Alumni Council. Being an undergraduate at Brown was such a great experience for me that any chance to help our student-veterans experience the same reward is an honor. The Council will work hard to enhance the veteran experience at Brown and, through our veterans, to strengthen diversity and inclusion among the student body. I look forward to giving back to Brown all that it gave to me!”

Watson Institute Announces a New Military Fellows Program

Thanks to a $1 million gift from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs will establish a 24-month military fellows program, designed to bring to Brown up to eight mid-level military officers who intend to pursue policy-related careers. The program provides an exceptional opportunity for members of the U.S. military and faculty and students at Brown to learn from one another.

Two groups of fellows will each spend an academic year auditing security-focused graduate-level courses and will complete their experience with a capstone policy analysis on a self-selected security issue. The first group of fellows will arrive on campus this September.

Read more about the new military fellows program.

Upcoming Events

Forum: The Vietnam War — The Enduring Impact on the Brown Community
Saturday, May 25
3:30 – 4:20 p.m.
John Hay Library, Willis Reading Room, 20 Prospect Street

Graduating Veterans Recognition and Commissioning Ceremony
Saturday, May 25
4:30 – 5:15 p.m.
Rhode Island Hall, Room 108, 60 George Street

Veterans Day Commemoration
Save the Date: Monday, November 11
Details will be sent via email in the fall.

Processing with the flag

Left to right: Anna Deitcher ’22, Elizabeth Kimmel ’21, Catherine Carignan ’20, and Madelyn Gonzalez ’20

What is BUVAC?

Brown Veterans Alumni Council (BUVAC) was formed in March 2018 by a group of enthusiastic seniors, alumni, parents, and Brown community members to provide support to Brown University students who are veterans or enrolled in Brown’s ROTC programs. To date, programming has included a veteran/ROTC student mentoring program and a very well-attended Alumni Forum during Reunion 2018. If you have classmates interested in Brown military-related news and events, they may email to be added to our email list. We are excited to share news about Brown veterans and ROTC students through our BUVAC newsletter!