Giving to Yale

Yale Veterans Support ROTC's Return

Last year, Andrew Hendricks ’14 was easy to spot in Saybrook’s dining hall: he was the only one in dress blues. This year, it’s a different story.

No longer Yale’s sole Air Force cadet, Hendricks was one of fifty students who marched past the Yale Alumni War Memorial on September 21, where President Richard C. Levin and military officials formally welcomed the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) to campus after a twenty-eight-year absence.

Yale prepared me with both a top-notch education and an informed worldview.
—Peter Cressy '63

Speaking to the twelve Naval midshipmen and thirty-eight Air Force cadets, President Levin said, “The Navy, the Air Force, and Yale have worked together this past year with one goal in mind: your arrival, and the launch of programs that will prepare you to be the best officer candidates in the nation.”

An appreciation for scholarship and service

Howard Leach '52 and Peter Cressy '63Among the accommodations for the ROTC is a newly refurbished space at 55 Whitney Avenue, providing office, classrooms, and changing rooms for faculty and students. The renovation was accomplished with generous support from two alumni: Ambassador Howard H. Leach ’52, an Air Force veteran, and the Navy’s retired Rear Admiral Peter Cressy ’63. The Air Force and Navy ROTC detachments will share the facility. 

Both Cressy and Leach have led careers combining military service and civilian leadership—and both started in ROTC at Yale. “Yale prepared me with both a top-notch education and an informed worldview,” said Cressy, who held several major command positions during his twenty-eight-year Navy service. A former university president, he is now CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council. Leach, an executive in the agricultural and food-processing industry and ambassador to France under President George W. Bush ’68, said, “ROTC will be a valuable complement to the University’s internationalization. It will play an important part in the education of future military and political leaders at Yale.”

Yale University boasts centuries-old ties to the armed forces, and as Levin has noted, Yale-educated soldiers have served “from Lexington to Afghanistan.” Like Yale, ROTC selects students for their academic ability, leadership, and service. Once enrolled, they complete physical training and specialized electives along with their Yale degree program. The military provides scholarships to qualified students who commit to serve for at least four years upon commissioning.