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Veterans Day Ceremony

November 5, 2020

The 2020 Veterans Day Celebration at SUNY Niagara will transform from a traditional public ceremony to a multi-week campaign that will benefit Veterans within the Western New York community. To culminate the initiative, a powerful tribute video, airing Tuesday, November 10, 2020, at 11 a.m. will be available to view on the College’s website at:

Veterans Memorial Park

SUNY Niagara’s Veterans Memorial Park at the Sanborn Campus

Following the airing of the video on November 10, a socially distanced reception will take place from 11 a.m. through 3 p.m. in the Veterans Services department, room B-100 at SUNY Niagara’s Sanborn Campus, 3111 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn. Light refreshments will be served and plenty of military comradery will be shared. Additionally, participants are encouraged to visit the SUNY Niagara’s Veterans Memorial Park to reflect on the contributions of US veterans. Please keep in mind that masks are required on all campus grounds.

The 2020 Veterans campaign was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coordinator of Veterans Services, Joseph Potalivo created a “COVID-proof plan” to ensure Veterans Day would be celebrated across the campus community. Potalivo, a veteran himself, envisioned an opportunity to encapsulate an all-encompassing method to thank our Servicemen and women. “Our message to veterans is a big ‘thank you,’ but not in a traditional way. Ours shows personal connections to those who serve or have served.” Guest speakers on the video include students who are veterans, faculty, staff, and even Chairperson of the SUNY Niagara Board of Trustees, Gina Virtuoso. Their stories include grandparents, parents, children, and friends who have served, personal stories of service, and the impact made on our country.

Throughout the month of November, SUNY Niagara’s Veteran Association will also host their annual Veterans Flag Tribute, this, year offering contributors to participate online. Donations are now being accepted via the Veteran’s webpage, replacing in-person cash donations, another step in keeping our campus community safe while still aiding veterans. For each donation, the Veterans Service department will dedicate a small flag in honor or in memory of a loved one who has served or is currently serving in the Armed Forces. Flags are donned with a name placard and will be on display throughout the month of November within the atrium of the Notar Administration Building. Flag tributes are $1 for one flag, $3 for four, or $5 for seven, though any amount is graciously accepted. Each donation directly benefits the Veterans Lounge, providing food, refreshments, and a place to relax for veteran students on the Sanborn campus. To donate online, please visit

In addition to the Veterans Day activities, SUNY Niagara continues to support their veteran community on a year-round basis through their unique programming. Potalivo explains, college employees “Put veterans’ needs before their own. Our campus is extremely veteran-friendly. We are all-encompassing and support each veteran on a one-on-one basis.” Whether students are active duty, have veteran status, or are a dependent of a veteran, SUNY Niagara helps each individual navigate their benefits, services, financial aid, student resources, and more. “We are a one-stop-shop for veteran students. We will see their journey here from start to finish. This department advocates for students and we have the ability to do that because we are a small, personal college where we have the opportunity to get to know our students,” says Potalivo.

Media Contact Information

Denyel Beiter
Event Coordinator
Phone: 716-614-5974