On this Veteran’s Day, the CT Alpha chapter and AVC would like to send a special thanks to the members of our chapter, past and present, who have served our country.
CT Alpha celebrates a long history of military service. In 1980, the chapter initiated Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, who had previously served as Commander of Naval Forces in Vietnam and Chief of Naval Operations, as a Renaissance Brother.
Later that decade, the chapter also initiated UConn Professor of Military History and Science and ROTC coordinator and then Army Captain Vern Gildhouse as a Renaissance brother in 1987. Brother Gildhouse now serves as the namesake for the annual Brotherly Love award given out by the undergraduate chapter, and for CT Alpha’s scholarship endowment fund, from which the AVC issues scholarships to deserving undergraduates. Brother Gildhouse eventually retired in 2000 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
The 1980s also saw the initiation of Ralph Hedenberg, who currently holds the rank of Brigadier General, and serves as deputy commanding general of the Combined Arms Support Command and as the Assistant Adjutant General for the Connecticut Joint Force Headquarters based in Hartford, Connecticut. Ralph was recently inducted into CT Alpha’s Alumni Hall of Fame for his impressive achievements in the Army National Guard.
CT Alpha’s Chapter Counselor, Andy Kelly, Arkansas ’00, also has a celebrated record of service. Andy was recently promoted to Colonel in the Connecticut National Air Guard earlier this fall. Through the Air Guard, Andy recruited John Donnelly, ’23, to Connecticut Alpha. John went on to become chapter President, serve a deployment to Kuwait during 2021, and attended the 2022 Quest to Greece.