Niagara University
This last year, cadets and cadre honored the military alumni of NU ROTC by creating a Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame proudly drapes the Lower Alumni Hall and is a reminder of all the brave men and women who have attended NU ROTC.

Niagara Military Alumni Hall of Fame

This last year, cadets and cadre honored the military alumni of NU ROTC by creating a Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame proudly drapes the Lower Alumni Hall and is a reminder of all the brave men and women who have attended NU ROTC.

World War I Era:

Within one month of the U.S. try into World War I, the University sent aletter to the President if the United States "affirming the patriotism andallegiance of the resident of the Ridge ". In response to a state lawrequiring a certain amount of drill each week, military training was ratifiedby the faculty and became part of the collegiate curriculum.  In 1917, theentire male student body drilled, sometimes as much as 10 hours per week, aidedthe informal supervision of a Drill Sergeant from the then-active FortNiagara.  In early 1918, Fr. Joseph M. Noonan, C.M., organized the StudentArmy Training Corps (S.A.T.C.).  This corps, with a strength of about 200,was barracked as a group in Alumni Hall.  The entire student bodycontinued drill under the direction and guidance of two Lieutenants from FortNiagara and selected cadet officers.  The quasi-organizations of 1917-18,although divorced from official Army regulations, were Niagara University'sfirst direct experience in military activities.

Establishment of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps at Niagara:

Formal application for the establishment of a senior unit of the ReserveOfficers' Training Corps at Niagara was made to the War Department by the VeryReverend Joseph M. Noonan, C.M., President of the University, in October,1935.  Initial plans called for the initiation of a motorized FieldArtillery unit.  Representatives from the War Department, after a tour ofthe campus, came to the conclusion that Niagara's location, terrain, andproximity to Fort Niagara were suited for such a unit.  The firstcommissioned Niagara ROTC class began in April of 1936 and graduated sixteencadets in 1940.  No cadets were given their commissions at Niagara'sCommencement Ceremonies for the years 1943-1947.  As the task of procuringofficers was temporarily transferred from ROTC to Officer Candidate Schools,ROTC was more and more phased from Niagara's curriculum... leaving just thetwo-year basic course.  Of the Niagara cadets completing the two-yearBasic Course who went on to enter the services, 69 percent were subsequentlycommissioned.

Re-establishment of ROTC:

In March 1945, Major Frederich A. Tillman was assigned to Niagara asCommandant of the 1288th SCE-ACER, an Army Air Corps unit which prepared futurepilots for flying school.  In that same month, Major Tillman receivedorders disbanding the 1288th and was instructed to direct his efforts towardsre-institution of the Advanced Course. The commissions of 1948 are a result ofthe re-instituted Advance Course.  With the advent of the Cold War, ROTCagain became an important institution on campus. During the Korean War, between50-90 cadets were commissioned annually.

The Vietnam Era:

The ROTC program continued largely unchanged commissioning 30-50 cadetsannually. In 1966, after two years of debate and some amount of studentprotest, participation in the Basic Course was make voluntary upon completionof the Spring of 1969.  Although there was a notable drop in enrollmentduring these years, the Corps saw its first female cadets in the Fall of 1973,with the College of Nursing beginning to make a significant contribution to theCorps of Cadets.

Niagara ROTC in the 80s and 90s:

Enrollment in the ROTC program in the 1980 varied from 100 to 180, with thenumber of commissionees ranging from 13 to 24. The program drew from allsegments of the University, with females comprising an important segment of theCorps. The program enjoyed widespread acceptance among the student body andsupport from the faculty and administration.  In the 1990's, enrollmentdeclined and the program was realigned as a partnership school of CanisiusCollege in Buffalo, New York.

Niagara ROTC now - the 21st Century:

In 1999-2000, under the leadership of LTC John Hammill, Niagara Universityleft Canisius College and re-established its own program.  In 2002,Niagara University closed its nursing program, ending NU's legacy ofcommissioning fantastic Army Nurses.  For the last five years, Niagara hasbeen ranked in the top 10% of Army ROTC programs in the United States (of 272programs).  In 2004, Niagara ranked # 1 nationally - proving that a smallschool in Western New York can complete with any program, anywhere. Although Cadet Command no longer nationally ranks, currently, Niagara’s programis listed as one of the top 14 schools in the nation.