Veterans center unveiled

KATELYN HIBBARD/Sun-Gazette Pennsylvania College of Technology unveiled its new Veterans and Military Resource Center Friday, dedicated in the name of Retired Army Maj. Gen. Fred F. Marty, who served for 30 years before becoming a public servant, which included a three-year stint as director of administration for Lycoming County. Pictured from left, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour, Fred Marty’s granddaughter Teagan Marty, an ROTC member and state Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the college’s board, post the colors in the lobby of the Student and Administrative Services after dedicating the new resource center.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Fred F. Marty, of Missouri, spent only three years of his life in Lycoming County. But those three years had a big impact.

Pennsylvania College of Technology, along with Marty’s family, honored his memory and the college’s veteran and active-duty students by renovating space in the Student and Administrative Services Center and turning it into the Maj. Gen. Fred F. Marty, U.S. Army Retired, Veterans and Military Resource Center.

The new center was dedicated in Marty’s name and presented to the college community on Friday.

“On behalf of my family, we thank the entire Penn College family for indulging us this opportunity today to specifically honor one fellow soldier,” said Fred Marty’s son, Patrick Marty, vice president of college relations and an Army veteran. “(The center) checks a lot of boxes, which is something he would have liked.”

Davie Jane Gilmour, president of the college, told of the accomplishments that Fred Marty had achieved before he passed away in November of 2013.

Fred Marty gave 30 years of his life to military service, starting with active duty in 1963 after earning a bachelor of science in education and serving in the Army ROTC. He served two tours in Vietnam and four tours in Germany, primarily commanding field artillery units.

His final assignments before retiring were as the commanding general of Fort Sill in Oklahoma, the commandant of the U. S. Field Artillery School and, concurrently, the army’s chief of field artillery.

He earned numerous awards throughout his service, including “the army’s highest peacetime award, the Distinguished Service Medal,” Gilmour said.

Fred Marty continued teaching and became a public servant after retiring from the military in 1993.

Patrick Marty quoted his father as saying: ” ‘Being around young people keeps you young. If I’m not going to be around soldiers, I’ll be around students.'”

In 2006, he moved to Lycoming County to serve as the executive director for the Generations Sports Complex, an 80-acre sports and family recreation facility that was in development at the time near Pennsdale. The next year, then-county commissioners appointed him director of administration and chief clerk for the county.

“Quite a few knew him during his relatively short time in Pennsylvania,” Patrick Marty said. “But, no matter how you knew him, you simply knew that you had his support, trust and wise counsel. Whether you were working for him, along with him, or just because he was your friend — and especially if you were a soldier.”

Fred Marty returned to Springfield, Missouri, in 2010 to act as deputy city manager until his retirement in 2013.

Gilmour said the college includes 363 veteran students, including dependents using veteran benefits, and 71 students serving, as well as more than 20 students participating in the Army ROTC program.

“It has been my experience that veterans are a humble lot, selflessly serving and asking nothing in return,” she said.

Over the years, Gilmour noticed that something the veteran students did ask for was a designated meeting place for those involved with the military to meet, collaborate, study and help each other. She was happy to present, on Friday, that designated meeting place, which also will serve as a common office for Chet Beaver, who is the coordinator of veteran and military services as well as a 25-year Army veteran.

“A commitment to providing access to educational opportunities for veterans is woven into the very fabric of Pennsylvania College of Technology and its predecessors,” Gilmour said. “The success of our students is paramount.”