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Southern Wesleyan University salutes veterans

    11.10.17 | Spiritual Life Special Events Military Personnel Advancement

    Southern Wesleyan University saluted veterans of all branches of military service Nov. 8 on its Central campus. Among the veterans attending the luncheon event were Joyce Robinson, second from right, who was a captain in the U.S. Army during World War II. Robinson spent the war years decoding messages at the Pentagon, then was part of the Army of Occupation in Japan following the war, where she helped to monitor Japanese internal communications by translating the Japanese messages into English. Pictured from left are Dr. Lisa McWherter, SWU’s vice president for advancement; Pam Schmutz, Robinson’s daughter; Robinson; and Dr. Todd Voss, SWU president. Schmutz is the wife of retired SWU science professor Dr. Jim Schmutz.

    Southern Wesleyan University saluted the service of U.S. military veterans Nov. 8.

    Major General Robert E. Livingston Jr., South Carolina’s Adjutant General, was the keynote speaker for the university’s first Veterans Appreciation Event, a luncheon especially for veterans and their families.

    At the opening for the event, the Daniel High School JROTC presented the colors and the University Singers presented a repertoire of patriotic musical selections, including a medley of hymns honoring each branch of the United States military. Army Veteran Eric Marcengill gave the invocation and Marine Corps veteran Kevin Hardin gave the benediction. Marine PFC Shonquez Caldwell, a Southern Wesleyan Criminal Justice major, led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

    “Veterans are people like you and me,” Livingston said, adding “One thing that is different from the general population is that veterans will pick up on that call to service and do it without failure.”

    Livingston called on his audience to enjoy Veterans Day, but also to think about its meaning.

    “In combat, it was about taking care of those around you – on your left and right; it was about each other. We need that over here,” Livingston said, encouraging his audience to serve, whether in the military or out in their community.

    In attendance were veterans going all the way back to World War II, as well as Southern Wesleyan students and alumni who currently serve in the military.

    Prior to the luncheon was a special chapel recognizing veterans at Newton Hobson Chapel and Fine Arts Center.

    Addressing the chapel was Chaplain James Burke of Fort Benning, Ga. Using the biblical story of Caleb, who believed God would continue to give the Israelite army victory over their enemies, Burke said, “If you’re in God’s Army, you have to step forward and take a risk. We are called to do all of our work for the glory of God and not to be consumed with the ‘American Dream’ and become complacent in our faith.”

    Southern Wesleyan also plans to honor veterans and currently serving military personnel during Military Appreciation Day March 10, 2018 at Connor Baseball Field at 12:30 p.m., just before Warriors baseball game against King University.

    The next Veterans Appreciation Event will take place Nov. 14, 2018, and future events are planned annually for the second Wednesday of November.

    The Veterans Appreciation event was organized by the university’s Advancement Office with valuable assistance from the university’s Veterans Support Services, Academic Records, Office of Marketing and Pioneer College Caterers. 

    For details, contact the Office of Advancement at (864) 644-5009.

    For details about Southern Wesleyan’s commitment to the educational success of veterans as a Military Friendly School, visit or contact Donna Pittman, VA benefits administrator, at or call (864) 644-5536.

    Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused, faith-filled community that offers inventive learning experiences. The university endeavors to prepare its students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. At the same time, it’s Southern Wesleyan’s desire to practice contagious generosity within the surrounding community. For details about degree programs, go online to

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