RIO GRANDE — The word service is defined simply as the contribution to the welfare of others. But as Veterans Day rapidly approaches it takes on a meaning far greater than any definition can ever bestow.
The University of Rio Grande/ Rio Grande Community College continued its tradition of honoring the men and women who have and continue to serve amongst the United States Armed Services with Friday’s annual Day of Tribute.
“I’m proud to say the faculty, staff and students at Rio Grande honor our veterans every day of the year, which culminates with the Day of Tribute ceremony,” Rio Grande President Dr. Barbara Gellman-Danley said. “This year was particularly special for us as we honored one of our own.”
Friday’s honorees included retired Chief Petty Officer Ray Boone and retired Lieutenant Commander Paul Harrison, who also serves as the executive vice president and vice president of Institutional Advancement at Rio Grande.
The ceremony included performances by The Grande Chorale and The Symphonic Band.
Boone, 94, is a Pearl Harbor survivor who served aboard three ships during his time with the Navy. The Gallipolis resident married Betty Gean after the war and had three children — Richard Ray, Gregory Michael and Barbara Gayle. The former General Foods salesman has eight grandchildren.
“I thank you for the invitation. It makes me feel good to hear you talk about me like that,” Boone said. “I had a nice time; I enjoyed the Navy. Thank you very much.”
Clyde Evans, a former State Representative and member of the University Board of Trustees, introduced Harrison. The Point Pleasant, W.Va., native and Gallipolis resident served 20 years in the Navy after enlisting in 1967 and retired having received recognitions including the Navy Commendation Medal, Supply Department Lockheed Award and three consecutive years as a semi-finalist to the Ney Award.
Since retiring from the Navy, Harrison has become a pillar of the Gallia County community while serving various capacities with the university.
“The big thing I want you to remember is the guys over there now; the ladies over there now,” Harrison said. “Give them your support.”
For more information regarding the University of Rio Grande / Rio Grande Community College visit Rio.edu or call 800-282-7201.
The University of Rio Grande / Rio Grande Community College is the only combined private university and public community college in the country. Serving more than 2,400 students annually, dreams become reality while nestled into the beautiful rolling hills of Southeastern Ohio.