Niagara University will celebrate Veterans Day on Wednesday, Nov. 11, through a series of activities, punctuated by a keynote address from Vietnam War veteran Bob "Mr. Inspiration" Wieland.
Wieland, one of the country's foremost inspirational speakers, will speak at 4 p.m. at the Castellani Art Museum on the university's campus. His address will be focused on suicide prevention, one of the leading causes of death among veterans and college students.
The public is invited to attend the event at no cost.
At 2 p.m., Niagara University's campus will fall silent in honor of American servicemen and women. The moment of silence will be followed by the university's participation in the Remembrance Day National Roll Call, a national event that calls for a synchronized reading of the names of fallen American soldiers. The recitation of the names of fallen Niagara University community members Capt. John J. Levulis, Class of 2012, and Pfc. Theodore "Matt" Glende will take place on the Gallagher Center's lower level.
In 1969, Wieland was declared dead and taken away in a zipped-up body bag after stepping on a mine while attempting to help his fallen comrades in Vietnam. He awoke later, but lost both of legs.
Thirteen years later, Wieland started to walk across America - on his hands. With the help of friends, he completed the task, reaching Washington, D.C., in three years, eight months and six days. He would go on to serve as the as the strength and motivational coach for the Green Bay Packers and finish the New York City, Los Angeles and Marine marathons. He's ridden his bicycle across the country twice and became the only double-amputee to complete the Ironman Triathlon Course in Hawaii.
In 1994, People Magazine named Wieland one of the "Six Most Amazing Americans" in the last 20 years and, in 2005, he was named "One of the Top 100 Sports Stories of the Past 100 Years" by the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.
The Remembrance Day National Roll Call is sponsored nationally by the Veterans Knowledge Community of NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. NASPA is a 12,000-member association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs professionals. The Veterans Knowledge Community mission is to advocate for best practices to help student veterans successfully transition to college.
In September, Niagara University was once again named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the region's "Best Colleges for Veterans," placing Niagara on the list of the "top-ranked schools that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active service members apply, pay for and complete their degrees."
Last June, Niagara was included on U.S. Veterans Magazine's list of "Top Veteran-Friendly Schools." Lists were compiled from market research, independent research, diversity conference participation and survey responses of Fortune 1000 companies that were performed by DiversityComm, publisher of U.S. Veterans Magazine.
For more information, call 716-286-8341 or email [email protected].