Col. Matthew Rauscher, a 1995 IUP graduate, will attend the ROTC program’s dining-out Friday.

Graduation is approaching, but it is not the only event at IUP that will honor seniors for their hard work and dedication. 

ROTC will host its dining-out, a formal military ball, at 5 p.m. Friday at the Indiana Country Club.

“It is an evening to recognize the accomplishments of the seniors, a mix of military tradition while rewarding and acknowledging their exceptional accomplishments,” said Lt. Col. Dennis Faulkner, professor of military science 

“Cadets, family of cadets, alumni, university administration. We invite anybody that has any association with the ROTC program.”

The guest speaker for the ball is Col. Matthew Rauscher, who graduated from IUP in 1995 with a safety science and ergonomic engineering degree. 

Rauscher is the second ROTC Brigade commander and responsible for 42 ROTC programs across the Northeast U.S. 

Other notable attendees will include IUP Associate Vice President of Academic Administration Dr. John N. Kilmarx, Pennsylvania State Senator Elder Vogel Jr., Col. Retired Michael Zang, an IUP alumnus, and Col. Retired Ernest Erlandson.

The military presence at the affair offers all the cadets an opportunity to speak to those with experience in their own projected career path. 

Along with spending time with friends, that is one of the things to which Cadet Logan McChesney (senior, regional planning /environmental) is looking forward at the event.

“I get to mingle with prior service military members – people that can give me guidance,” McChesney said. “It is a good event to build camaraderie, esprit de corps while celebrating the history of the military.”

McChesney earned a scholarship into the ROTC program, which comes with an active duty contract. After graduation, he will attend Basic Officers Leaders Course in Fort Huachuca, Ariz., then proceed to his first duty assignment in Fort Riley, Kan. 

This is not McChesney’s first dining-out, and this year, he is helping to plan it.

“I’ll be glad when the setting up is over, but I’m looking forward to the actual event itself,” he said.

This will be the first time Brady Dalton (freshman, nursing) will attend a dining-out. This is her first semester with the ROTC program.

“I’m excited to see the traditions, the officers, get to talk to everyone and see them dress up, but I’m also nervous,” Dalton said. 

“It is my first one. So I’m nervous about the ASUs (Army Service Uniform, military dress uniform). It is very formal, and I don’t want to mess anything up.”

She is participating in one of the traditional events of the evening called the grog, a drink with a mixture of ingredients, each one with symbolism.  She will be adding juice.

Dalton comes from a military family. Her brother is in the army and her grandfather and great uncle have also served. As a nurse, she will be an active duty Army Officer, about which she said she is excited.

“This is the right thing for me,” Dalton said.

The evening will officially begin with the Posting of the Colors. Four cadets will march into the main room with the American flag, as well as the ROTC unit Colors.

“That is the signal to start the event,” Faulkner said, “as well as end the event after removing the Colors.”

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