Skip to main content
Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

U.S. Army General to speak at commissioning ceremony

Media Contact:

General to unveil name added to URI's Vietnam memorial

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 5, 2004 -- U. S. Army General Leon J. LaPorte will speak at the R.O.T.C. commissioning ceremony the morning of the University of Rhode Island's main commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 23.

LaPorte, who grew up in Providence and graduated from URI in 1968, is now a four-star general and the commander of U.S. and United Nation forces in Korea.

The commissioning ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. in front of Keaney Gymnasium. The Ryan Center concourse will serve as the rain site. The public is invited.

During the ceremony, LaPorte and the new lieutenants will unveil a name of a solider recently etched onto one of the three granite benches that compose URI's Vietnam Memorial in front of the Keaney Gym.

The name, Lt. Col. Richard S. Schott, now joins 17 other members of the URI family who died in Vietnam.

Schott was a one-time resident of South Kingstown and a URI R.O.T.C. instructor at URI from 1963-66. He was killed in action during the battle of Loc Nihn, Republic of South Vietnam on April 4, 1972. His remains and dog tags were turned over to an American search team in 2002 and laid to rest this year near Shepherdstown, W. Va. Schott family members are expected to be present during the unveiling.

As a young officer, LaPorte served as a combat aviator in Vietnam. The general will attend URI commencement exercises to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from URI.

The eight cadets to be commissioned are as follows:

Name, Hometown, Branch

Jordan Melel, Cranston, RI, Military Intelligence
Vanna Nhem, Cranston, RI, Quartermaster
Felix Yam, Hope, RI, Military Intelligence
Anthony Difruscio, North Providence, RI Infantry
Katherine Zaccaria, Saunderstown, RI, Chemical
Peter Anzovino, Cornwall, NY, Engineer
David Dunphy, Holden, MA ,Engineer
Danielle Dippolino, West Hartford, CT, Military Police