Seminole State College honors U.S. Military at Veterans Day celebration
Thursday, November 11, 2021
Written by: Mark Richardson
Seminole State College of Florida honored members of the armed forces Thursday, Nov. 11, during the annual Veterans Day Ceremony.
>>View photos from the ceremony
The ceremony, hosted by Seminole State’s Office of Veteran Student Services and the Office of Student Life, included the presentation of colors by the Winter Springs High School Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) and the singing of the national anthem by Seminole State student Samantha Clarke and the “Armed Forces Salute” by SeminoleSound.
Seminole State President Dr. Georgia L. Lorenz gave the opening remarks thanking veterans for their service. "We are forever grateful to the veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Space Force for their selfless service in defending our freedom and democracy around the world," said Lorenz. "At Seminole State, we pride ourselves on giving back to our veterans for their service to our country."
U.S. Navy Veteran Ian Queen, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Chase Humes, and U.S. Army, Vietnam Veteran Hugh Robert MacGillivary all served as keynote speakers.
During the ceremony, the Foundation for Seminole State College awarded the endowed scholarship honoring fallen Marine Sgt. Mark Johnson IV to Dennis Acosta, who has served in the United States Air Force Reserve for 10 years. He is enrolled in the Seminole State – University of Central Florida concurrent nursing program and has plans to become a medical officer in the U.S. Air Force.
“This scholarship will help me achieve my goal of providing medical and preventative care to current and future veterans of the United States of America. I will continue the legacy of Sgt Mark Johnson by continuing to serve my country and taking opportunities to be part of humanitarian efforts like Sgt. Mark Johnson would do,” said Acosta. “He is a true American hero who sought opportunities to help others and will always be remembered by me.”
Johnson, a married father of two, was one of six Marines killed in a helicopter crash while on a mission to help Nepal earthquake victims in May 2015. He grew up in Altamonte Springs, earned an Associate in Science (A.S.) in Automotive Service Management Technology in 2005 and an Associate in Arts (A.A.) in December 2008. He joined the military in early 2009.
To donate to the Sgt. Mark Johnson IV Endowed Memorial Scholarship, call the Foundation at 407.708.4571, or visit seminolestate.edu/foundation.
Seminole State has been recognized as a Military Friendly School for its strong commitment to the success of not only veterans and active duty service members who attend Seminole State, but also their spouses and children who take classes on our campuses.
Over the past five years, Seminole State has awarded credentials to 33 active-duty military students, 1,407 veterans, 166 students who serve in the reserve forces, and 535 spouses and children of veterans.
The College has been designated a premier Purple Heart Institution by the Military Order of the Purple Heart in recognition of the College’s support of military members, including veterans and their families, and has been awarded the Department of Defense - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Above and Beyond Award for its support of an employee who was recalled to active duty.
In April, Seminole State launched a partnership with the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) to offer a General Education Mobile (GEM) program. Through the partnership, the College is offering 18 online General Education classes to more than 300,000 U.S. Air Force and Space Force personnel pursuing a CCAF Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree.
Seminole State College’s Office of Veteran Student Services is dedicated to serving as a one-stop source for veterans to secure, interpret and exercise their VA education benefits. Seminole State serves about 1,000 veterans and their dependents each year and has been named a Military Friendly School since 2012. For more information, visit seminolestate.edu/veterans.