The Northeastern community joined together for its annual Veterans Day ceremony, where speakers honored veterans, service members, and their families.
President Joseph E. Aoun has announced a $1 million gift from the Dolce family to support the university’s Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Service members.
Aoun underscored Northeastern’s longstanding commitment and link to military veterans, and expressed great pride in the university’s emphasis on both security research and supporting veterans in their transition to college and employment.
2017 Veterans Day ceremony
“The veterans themselves who are here and part of this community, and who are students too, have been leading the way,” Aoun said. “Our Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Servicemembers is a model for the nation.”
Launched in 2015, the center offers a range of services and benefits, including mentorship, career resources, networking events, and assistance with the transition to civilian life. The gift from the Dolce family—Jim and Leslie, and their son Alex, who is an undergraduate business major at Northeastern—will endow the center. In recognition of the family’s generous support the center will be named the Dolce Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Service members.
The gift will support the center’s core responsibilities, which include funding for co-op experiences for veterans, travel and other costs related to the job search, the hiring of tutors and job coaches, and assistance with other job transition costs such as moving expenses, travel, and child care. Aoun said the gift will ensure it “will remain a vibrant center forever.”
“You gave us your name, and we have an obligation to honor it in the same way that you are honoring our veterans today,” Aoun said. “And the only way to honor it is through the engagement of the next generations.”
Jim Dolce said his family started a philanthropic foundation about 20 years ago with a focus on education. He described how meeting a veteran named John Griffin and his family put into perspective the fact that sacrifices by veterans and their families have enabled so many opportunities for others. This realization, he said, inspired his family to combine its mission of education with “the purpose now of paying forward for the sacrifices that our veteran families have made.”
“That’s the reason we ended up here today,” said Dolce, noting that his son played an instrumental role in proposing the idea for the gift.
During the ceremony, Distilled Harmony sang the National Anthem and “God Bless America.” At the conclusion of the ceremony, ROTC cadets laid a wreath at the Northeastern Veterans Memorial in recognition of all Northeastern veterans who have served the nation.