Published on May 19, 2014 by Jimmy Lichtenwalter  
Trent Little

Samford University's Air Force ROTC Detachment 012 commissioned nine cadets during ceremonies in Reid Chapel May 16, the largest number in the history of the detachment.

Earning commissions were Stephen Richard Brown, Justin Matthew Campbell, MSgt Joe Canteen, Jr., MSgt Marisa Guzman, Dylan Philip Lempp, Selton Trent Little, Shelby Ann Mullins, Casey Talbot Ryan and Jordan Bret Valdez.

Video: Samford Commencement 2014

Little (right) was recognized as a Distinguished Graduate, being ranked in the top 10 percent of all newly commissioned graduates throughout the nation.

Canteen and Guzman will attend the Nursing Enlisted Commissioning Program.

Lt. Col. Travis Dixon (left in photo), Commander of Detachment 012, told the cadets and an audience of family members and friends that the military is an institution that the American people hold dear. "The U.S. military sits at the top of what Americans believe in," said Col. Dixon. "Don't ever stop believing," he said. "Don't ever stop believing in the words of the oath which you will take or in yourself."

Following Col. Dixon's remarks, the cadets took the Oath and were presented with the Commissioning Certificate. They were pinned by their respective families and gave their first salutes.

Jimmy Lichtenwalter is a student writer in the Samford University Office of Marketing and Communication.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.