NROTC Mom: 'I Feel Blessed, Honored and Proud'

O’Callahan Society organizers welcomed more than 300 guests to the group’s annual dinner on Sept. 27, in the Hogan Campus Ballroom. The event, which honors alumni who have served in the military and the memory of Holy Cross professor Rev. Joseph Timothy O’Callahan, S.J., recipient of the Medal of Honor for heroic service in World War II, is a gathering of alumni, Navy ROTC staff and College administrators, as well as the unit’s current midshipmen and their families.

Suzanne D’Angelo P15 attended the dinner with her son, James D’Angelo ’15, a Chinese major from Mineola, N.Y., who will be commissioned in the Navy this spring.

“I feel blessed, honored and proud to be the mother of an NROTC student at Holy Cross,” she says. “James has had an incredible experience here, and NROTC has been a wonderful blend of traditional college life enhanced by ROTC’s high moral, physical and academic standards.”

The evening included several touching moments, including a “Bravo Zulu” farewell to Paul Covino, who left Holy Cross recently to accept a position at Assumption College after many years of service as the NROTC’s chaplain. (“Bravo Zulu” is the Naval flag signal for “well done.”) Capt. Thomas G. Kelley ’60, the only living member of the trio of Holy Cross alumni Medal of Honor recipients, received a spontaneous and prolonged standing ovation when his name was mentioned by emcee Lester Paquin.

This year, the dinner’s keynote speaker was the highest-ranking officer ever to stand at the O’Callahan podium, Adm. Michelle Howard, vice chief of naval operations. She delivered an inspiring speech about using courage even when making seemingly small decisions, and likened the camaraderie of Holy Cross alumni and students to the fellowship among Navy personnel serving on a vessel at sea.

“I hope James will continue to develop, proudly serve our country and be inspired by Admiral Howard’s example, accomplishments and speech about using one’s moral and ethical courage in times of crisis and in everyday life,” D’Angelo remarked as the evening came to a close.

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