Gannon University Hosts ROTC 100th Anniversary Ceremony

Posted: April 15, 2016

In 1916, with the United States on the brink of entering World War I, President Woodrow Wilson created the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). On April 15 at 2 p.m., Gannon University, which hosts the Pride of PA Battalion of Army ROTC cadets from Gannon, Edinboro and Mercyhurst Universities, will mark the anniversary with a ceremony in the Yehl Room of the Waldron Campus Center, 124 W. Seventh St.

Among the events will be the induction of retired Col. Joseph J. Gaeta and the late Brigadier General Ernest S. Ellis into the inaugural class in the battalion's hall of fame.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Gaeta came to Gannon College in 1958 to play basketball and baseball. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant after his graduation in 1962, serving in the U.S. Army Reserves for 28 years before retiring in 1993 as a colonel. Gaeta is also the co-founder of the Gannon Athletics Booster Club and has served as one of the club's most visible and active members for more than 40 years.

Ellis entered the U.S. Army in 1943, serving as a combat M.P. in the D-Day invasion of Western Europe and subsequent action. Following the war, he graduated from Gannon College in 1951 and was named the outstanding cadet of ROTC Company C. He again entered the Army as a second lieutenant during the Korean War. Ellis was promoted to Brigadier General in 1978 and served as deputy commander of the 99th Army Reserve Command in Pittsburgh. He retired in 1982 after 34 years of active and reserve duty. Ellis also served as plant engineer at Gannon University for 20 years.

In addition to the induction of the 2016 Hall of Fame class, five Gannon University seniors from the Pride of PA Battalion, Kayla Irwin, Mackenzie Kranz, David Marshall, Christopher Rentschler and Anthony Sinagoga, will be recognized for outstanding service.