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Red, White and Hoo: UVA Celebrates Military with Tribute Night at the Ballpark

Jun 21, 2023Jun 21, 2023

May 13, 2023• By Andrew Ramspacher, [email protected] Andrew Ramspacher, [email protected]

A pre-game flyover from a U.S. Navy helicopter got the night off to a symbolic start.

Their hats covering their hearts, baseball players from the University of Virginia and University of Louisville looked toward the American flag that towered over the wall in right-center field at Disharoon Park.

The sound of "The Star-Spangled Banner," performed by ROTC cadet Abigail Opoku, soon blended with the chopping noise of a helicopter flying over the diamond.

Patriotism flowed from all angles Friday night at Disharoon Park as UVA kicked off its "Heroes Appreciation Weekend" with "Military Appreciation Night." Fans entering the stadium received free "Red, White and Hoo" stickers that matched the emblem on the player's ball caps, part of the University's new apparel line.

The evening, made better by the Wahoos’ 15-5 win over Louisville, featured a variety of tributes to UVA's military community.

University Provost Ian Baucom, speaking at a pre-game ceremony attended by members of that community, applauded those involved with UVA's JAG School, its ROTC programs and its Posse Veterans program.

"Without you," Baucom said, "we would not be who we are as a university. Thank you for sharing your lives with us and making us better and bolder and stronger by being here. We want to do everything we can to support you."

UVA, according to U.S. News & World Report's latest rankings of colleges and universities, is the ninth-best for veterans. Since September 2021, the UVA Veteran Student Center in Newcomb Hall has served as an active space for UVA's military community, including student veterans and ROTC students.

UVA reports more than 1,730 alumni and 550 current staff members with military affiliation (veteran or active duty). During the upcoming Final Exercises, more than 150 UVA students with military affiliation, including 33 from ROTC programs, will graduate.

In addition to its ROTC students, UVA, during the 2022-23 academic year, had more than 540 students on Grounds with veteran or active duty status.

UVA Today was on hand Friday night as all of that service was celebrated.

Andrew Ramspacher

University News Associate University Communications

[email protected] (434) 924-6856

June 7, 2023

part of the University's new apparel line ninth-best for veterans UVA Veteran Student Center