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Veterans Honored During Annual Appreciation Ceremony at CSU

Celebration served as the highlight of Veterans Week

In observance of Veterans Day, members of Cleveland State University came together to honor our veterans during CSU’s annual Veterans Day Appreciation Ceremony held at Fenn Tower on November 8.

The Wolfpack Battalion from John Carroll University began the ceremony by presenting the national colors, followed by current CSU student and Soloist Katie Kitchen singing the National Anthem. CSU President Laura Bloomberg provided welcome remarks.

“I have enormous gratitude for the enlisted men and women who are students or the Veterans who are students who have the courage and the wherewithal to share a perspective in classroom discussions on campus to help us all understand,” said Bloomberg. “It is our duty as a university to create an environment that is welcoming and respectful to our enlisted men and women to their family members, and to our military veterans, and I hope every day to live up to that expectation and that aspiration I have for this campus community.”

Bloomberg also pointed out that Ohio is currently in the top 10 states with the most Veterans, and Cuyahoga County has the most Veterans in the entire state of Ohio, with nearly 10 percent of the population – or 80,000 residents – accounting for that total.

“That’s a lot of people for whom we should be showing our gratitude in our neighborhoods and in our communities not just this week, but always,” she said.

This year, the ceremony featured three speakers consisting of an active duty member (Christopher White, Sergeant First Class, Ohio Army National Guard), a military dependent (Jawahir Muhammad, CSU student) and a veteran (Michael Artbauer, Major, United States Marine Corps (retired), Provost’s Chief of Staff at CSU). 

From 1986 to 2006, Artbauer served as a CH-53 A/D helicopter and KC-130 pilot, and air officer in the Second Battalion Seventh Marine. He also served in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

“In the late 1980s and early 90s, I served through the period of the redefining of the usage of the American military forces after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of the term, ‘the peace dividend’ that saw US forces deployed in places like Bosnia and Somalia for good,” Artbauer told those in attendance. “I also found myself recalled from a special aviation school where I had been sent for training in August of 1990 in the order to join my helicopter squadron in deploying to Saudi Arabia as part of the initial forces committed to the defense of Saudi Arabia and to deter the forces of Saddam Hussein in what ultimately became known as Desert Shield/Desert Storm.”

Artbauer added, “Today we watch with great trepidation of the events occurring over in Israel and the Gaza Strip; I pray that there can be a peaceful and meaningful solution to the problems and we Veterans can grow older and watch our ranks diminish in numbers rather than continued to grow due to conflict.”


Captain of the Ohio Army National Guard and CSU student William T. Olmstead was announced as the recipient of the 2023 Northeast Ohio Foundation for Patriotism (NEOPAT) Student Veteran of the Year.

He received his commission as an infantry officer in the United States Army in 2013 and served for a decade in the Ohio Army National Guard, where he became captain. He was deployed twice to the Middle East and served in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait.

After completing his first year of law school at CSU College of Law in 2021-22, Olmstead volunteered for a deployment to Baghdad, Iraq, in 2022, where he served as the security forces commander for coalition forces to the Iraqi capital. Now back in Cleveland, he resumed law school and will join Jones Day as a summer associate in 2024 in the law firm’s Cleveland location.

“Two of the most consequential decisions I have made in my life were joining the United States Army and enrolling in the College of Law here at Cleveland State University. The profound impact of both institutions has changed me inextricably for the better,” he said. “I know that many of our student veterans feel the same across the many diverse undergraduate and graduate colleges here at the university and the branches of the Armed Forces.”

Olmstead added:

“The military is a place where Americans of diverse race, ethnicity, ethos, political party, gender identity, sexual preference, religious affiliation and economic background come together in the truest expression of what our nation can accomplish when unified, impassioned and empowered; with heartfelt gratitude, thank you for this award and thank you for all your commitment to the success of our veterans and our students.”

Watch the ceremony in its entirety here.