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Academy adds 4 to Class of 2011
Cadets 1st Class Braylon Gurnell, Patrick Hennessey, Alexander Hess and Kenneth Lamendola swear their oaths of office during a graduation ceremony at the Air Force Academy Dec. 14, 2011. The four are the final additions to the Academy's Class of 2011, which now numbers 1,035. (U.S. Air Force photo/Raymond McCoy)
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Academy adds 4 to Class of 2011

Posted 12/14/2011   Updated 12/14/2011 Email story   Print story


by Don Branum
Air Force Academy Public Affairs

12/14/2011 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Four cadets joined the Air Force Academy's Class of 2011 Dec. 14 during a graduation ceremony in Arnold Hall.

Joining the Long Blue Line were 2nd Lts. Kenneth Lamendola, Braylon Gurnell, Patrick Hennessey and Alexander Hess.

Athletics Director Dr. Hans Mueh delivered the commencement address, filling in for Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, who could not attend the ceremony.

Mueh offered the graduates four pieces of advice: First, he said, never look back; always look forward. Second, do what you love.

"You'll have jobs you don't want to do forever, but do them to the best of your ability," he said.

Third, Mueh advised the graduates to take some risks. Finally, he told them to never compromise their integrity.

"It's harder to pull off in the big, bad world out there, but always take the high road," he said.

Mueh, along with Dean of the Faculty Brig. Gen. Dana Born and Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Rich Clark, presented diplomas to the graduates. Clark administered the oath of office and awarded the graduates their commissions.

Retired Brig. Gen. Ruben Cubero, a former dean of the faculty representing the Class of 1961, also spoke at the commencement.

"I would have worn my uniform, but there's a phenomenon called 'closet shrinkage,'" Cubero joked.

He went on to present the graduates with their first set of second lieutenant bars, engraved with "61-11" to represent the bond between the graduating classes.

"This gift is symbolic of your progress through the ranks, but more importantly, it's symbolic of the solidarity of all the classes to the Oath of Office," he said. "We wish you the very best and godspeed."

The graduation brings the Class of 2011's total number to 1,035 and the Academy's total number of graduates to 43,915.

1/2/2012 11:14:46 PM ET
Hi RexThanks for the info. It's great that the Academy let them do that.
Ben Maltz '77, Boston
12/29/2011 12:00:47 PM ET
It used to be that some cadets with solid MOM were given an extra semester to take a few additonal courses to bring their cumulative GPA above 2.0 so they could graduate and be commissioned. We had a guy doing that from '74 in my cadet squadron back in the day. Maybe that is it
Rex Williams '77, Eglin AFB FL
12/28/2011 2:37:55 PM ET
Why did these Cadets graduate late
Ben Maltz '77, Boston
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