May 13, 2023
Graduating seniors who served as cadets in the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at St. Bonaventure University were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army on Friday, May 12.
For a photo gallery of the ceremony, click here.
The commissioning ceremony, held at the university’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, was followed by the Silver Dollar Salute, a traditional event in which each newly commissioned officer hands a silver dollar to the first soldier who salutes them. Cadets choose someone who was instrumental in their upbringing, education or training for this honor.
The cadets are part of the Seneca ROTC Battalion, which comprises cadets from St. Bonaventure, Alfred State College, Alfred University, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Houghton University and Jamestown Community College.
Seneca Battalion cadets who commissioned at St. Bonaventure on Friday include:
Second Lieutenant Matthew W. Barber, who will receive a Bachelor of Science in health fitness management and a minor in sports management from Alfred University, is the son of Jeff and Patty Barber of Westfield, Pennsylvania. He is commissioning as an active duty armor officer. Barber served as the cadet command sergeant major and battery commanding officer. His lieutenant bars were pinned by his mother, and his girlfriend, Lauren Boshart. Rendering Barber’s first salute was his father, a former technical sergeant with the U.S. Air Force.
Second Lieutenant Nikolas R. Erickson, who will receive a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, is the son of Todd and Kristy Erickson of Bradford, Pennsylvania. Erickson is commissioning as an infantry officer into the Pennsylvania Army National Guard as part of Charlie Company 1-112th Stryker Brigade Combat Team. He served as cadet battalion command sergeant major and cadet assistant operations officer. His lieutenant bars were pinned by his parents. Rendering his first salute was his grandfather, former U.S. Air Force Airman Richard Erickson.
Second Lieutenant Liam H. Hart, who will receive a Bachelor of Science in educational studies from St. Bonaventure, is the son of Jon and Dawn Hart of Grand Island, New York. Hart is commissioning as an active duty air defense artillery officer. He served as cadet operations officer, battalion executive officer, and assistant to the cadet supply officer. He was runner-up for St. Bonaventure’s Military Science Award and recipient of the National Defense Transportation Association Award and the USAA Spirit Award. His lieutenant bars were pinned by his parents. Rendering his first salute was his grandfather, former U.S. Army Private First Class Paul Hennessey.
Second Lieutenant Jamie T. Larson, who will receive a Bachelor of Business Administration in technology management and an associate degree in mechanical engineering technology from Alfred State College, is the son of Denene and Bradley Larson of Akron, New York. He is commissioning into active duty as a quartermaster officer. Larson served as the cadet battery commander and cadet human resources officer. His lieutenant bars were pinned by his parents. Rendering his first salute was Sergeant Bailey Larson, U.S. Army.
Second Lieutenant Houston T. Tyree, who will receive a Bachelor of Arts in strategic communication from St. Bonaventure University, is the son of Thomas and Maureen Tyree of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania. Tyree is commissioning into active duty as a field artillery officer. He served as the cadet battalion commander, cadet operations officer, and cadet supply officer. A distinguished military graduate for finishing in the top 10% in the country, Tyree received St. Bonaventure’s Military Science Award, the Department of the Army Superior Cadet Decoration Award, the Eighth District American Legion Military Excellence Award, the Battalion Commander’s Academic Award, the Platinum Medal Athlete Award, the Ranger Challenge Team Award, the George C. Marshall ROTC Award, and the VFW Leadership Award. His lieutenant bars were pinned by his parents. Rendering his first salute was U.S. Army Master Sergeant Brandon Manning, senior military science instructor at St. Bonaventure.
Second Lieutenant Alexandria G. Wisniewski, who will receive Bachelor of Science degrees in accounting and business administration from Houghton University, is the daughter of Edward Wisniewski and Tammy Jackson-Wisniewski of Ballston Lake, New York. She is commissioning into active duty as a field artillery officer. Wisniewski served as cadet battalion commander and cadet executive officer. Her lieutenant bars were pinned by her father, and her fiancé, Kevin Zientara. Rendering her first salute was her mother, a former sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. St. Bonaventure was named the #5 regional university value in the North in U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 college rankings edition.