The Brookdale Veterans Club joined a team of college administrators and members of the armed services on April 8 to christen a newly installed flagpole at the Freehold campus.
The ceremony – which featured Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy; executive dean of HEC and Communiverstiy Anita Voogt; director of student services Dr. Stephen Curto; Veterans Club co-advisor Donna Bastedo; Veteran Center associate Christine Forman; and two members of the U.S. Coast Guard – capped more than a year of fundraising and advocacy by the Veterans Club and club co-advisors Eleanor Glazewski and Bastedo.
After working to help fund and install flagpoles at Brookdale’s Hazlet and Wall Higher Education Centers, the club joined forces with college administrators to help continue the initiative this year in Freehold.
“The club held bake sales and a few car washes in hopes of raising enough money to contribute towards the cost, but they realized that would take a while,” said Bastedo. “In the meantime, Dean David Stout, Dr. Murphy and vice president Maureen Lawrence coordinated their efforts in making this a reality.”
Those efforts paid off in April, as the guardsmen capped off the ceremony by hoisting the first ever flag to the top of the newly installed pole.
“It was such a proud moment,” said Bastedo. “I looked around and everyone was smiling. The rain held out until the exact time the ceremony ended, and then the heavens opened up.”
For Veterans Club President Richard DeCola, the flag is a fitting tribute to the spirit of America’s armed services members and veterans, as well as the determination and hard work displayed by Brookdale students.
“A lot of America’s greatest achievements have had the American flag flying,” said DeCola. “The first moon landing, the victory of the battle of Iwo Jima, General George Washington crossing the Delaware River to defeat the British and Jesse Owens winning four gold medals in 1936 in Nazi Germany, just to name a few.
“The students of Brookdale will achieve greatness themselves, and they are all starting their futures with the American flag at their campus.”
The club, DeCola added, aims to continue its work and help install additional flagpoles across all of Brookdale’s campus locations.
To learn more about Veterans’ Services at Brookdale, click here.
Article by Mikaela Mazzeo, college relations intern. Photos courtesy of Peggy Austin.