Over 200 people joined the Hodges University family to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, honoring the heroes who bravely fought in one of the most important battles in American history. Over a dozen local World War II veterans attended the solemn ceremony, which featured a speech and poem recitation by Oscar-winning narrator and longtime Naples resident, Dr. Peter Thomas.
“I’ve done a lot of talking in my career, but this is the first time I felt I couldn’t talk,” said Thomas as he brought to life his vivid memories of that pivotal day.
“It is always a pleasure to spend time with Peter and listen to him retell the stories of his experiences on June 6, 1944,” said Phil Memoli, Vice President of University Advancement at Hodges. “He is a true patriot, and we are always honored to have him join us, as well as the many local heroes which we were proud to honor.”
During the ceremony, the institution named it Veterans Services Center in honor of Dr. Thomas.
“Peter has worked tirelessly for veteran causes, especially for the student veterans here at Hodges,” said Dr. Jeanette Brock, president of Hodges University. “Peter has given both his time and treasures to help Hodges University in our pursuit of providing scholarship support for veterans. It is in this spirit that we have chosen to name our Veterans Services Center after Peter in recognition for everything that he has done for our students.”