Twelve Niagara University Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets were commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Army during ceremonies held May 21, 2021, on the Niagara University campus. This was the 80th consecutive year that members of NU’s Purple Eagle Battalion have taken the oath of office.

Upon completion of the oath, family members pinned gold bars on the uniforms of the new second lieutenants:

Elizabeth A. Baez
William L. Fritz
Andrew J. Hamblet
Indiana Jourdain
Daniel W. Kelly
Daniel J. Lafferty
Anna M. Romano
Charles M. Roth
Cole E. Sebastianelli
Douglas G. Urban
Esteban Valentin
Jack Walter 

Col. (Ret.) Roy Harris, a member of the Niagara University Class of 1975, was the featured speaker. His 30-year career in the Army Nurse Corps concluded as chief of the ANC Branch (Human Resources), and included positions as regional chief nurse, Europe regional medical command, and the deputy commander, nursing, for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Army ROTC is a leadership development program designed to augment the college learning experience. Its primary goals are to identify, instruct, and commission young men and women for service as officers in the Active Duty Army, the United States Army Reserve, or the Army National Guard. Intermediate goals include providing students with the leadership skills necessary to organize and effectively run the Purple Eagle Battalion, clubs on campus, or student government.

Niagara University’s ROTC program regularly ranks in the top 10 percent of all Army ROTC programs in the United States. The Purple Eagle Battalion’s rise to excellence culminated in 2004, when it was the top-ranked program in the nation.

To learn more about Niagara University’s ROTC program, please visit