On Fri., May 17, two members of Saint Anselm College’s graduating class of 2024 were commissioned into the United States Army following their time in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

Zachary Roughan ’24, a Criminal Justice Major from Haverhill, Mass., was commissioned into active duty as a Second Lieutenant in Field Artillery. He discovered the ROTC program at the end of his first semester and was part of the 382nd Military Police Battalion for over two and a half years.

Alexander Scopa ’24, a Politics and German Double Major and Political Theory Minor, from Wakefield, Mass., was commissioned into Military Intelligence. Scopa joined the ROTC program, graduating Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson and was also part of the 382nd Military Police Battalion. In addition to his training and leading Charlie Company as well as serving as the battalion command sergeant major, Scopa was also a member of the college’s Track and Field Team.

Zachary Roughan and Alexander Scopa in their uniforms
Second Lieutenants Zachary Roughan ’24 and Alexander Scopa ’24

The ROTC Commissioning ceremony held in front of the college’s War Memorial on the Alumni Quad. College President Joseph A. Favazza, Ph.D., opened the event by welcoming everyone, sharing how proud the college is of alumni serving in the military. He thanked the graduates for their service.  

During the ceremony, the graduates were pinned by parents and loved ones and then gave their first salute.

As the honorary speaker, alumnus Captain Christopher Fiorentino ’03 addressed the group, their families, and ceremony attendees, providing words of wisdom and advice. Although now an attorney licensed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Fiorentino was a platoon leader in combat in the Army; during his service, he earned an Iraq campaign medal.

Captain Fiorentino addresses the crowd
Alumnus Captain Christopher Fiorentino ’03

Captain Fiorentino emphasized the importance of the ceremony in the graduates’ lives and the training, physically and mentally, they had endured to get to that moment. “These men are fit to fight […] They have been trained to be sophisticated leaders,” he said.

He further underscored the importance of their college education and the value the military places on their degrees. “The President of the United States has agreed to commission these men with special trust and confidence because they have proven their ability to learn and to communicate.”

Roughan and Scopa raise their hands to swear their oath of office

Both Lieutenants participated in the Reserved Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program out of the University of New Hampshire.

The commissioning was only part of a series of events and programs celebrating the accomplishments of the undergraduate and graduate members of the class of 2024. The college’s 131st commencement exercises took place on the college quad on Sat., May 18 where 507 students earned their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. This year the college is marking 50 years of full co-education and the inaugural year for the Jean School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Alumna and recent Pulitzer Prize finalist Lauren Chooljian Baer ’10 addressed the class of 2024.

Photos: Military Commissioning


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