Remember BGSU & what it stands for, Coast Guard rear admiral tells graduates

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Rear Admiral June Ryan the path that led her to the Coast Guard was illuminated by the light of a television screen. She saw an advertisement for the Coast Guard at 3 in the morning – “the only time the Coast Guard can afford to advertise.” It featured the Midgett family from North Carolina’s Outer Banks who had members who served in the Coast Guard since before the Revolution. She decided she wanted to start her own tradition. As a sophomore at Bowling Green State University, she enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserve as a junior boatswain’s mate. Once a month she would report to the lighthouse at Marblehead, a lighthouse rich with history. It is the oldest continually operating lighthouse on the United States side of the Great Lakes. It had the first female lighthouse keeper and is near the site of one of the first rescues honored by the Gold Lifesaving Medal. Her career ended up taking her around the world, serving presidents as a military aide, and meeting world leaders, before returning to the Midwest in 2015 as the commander for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. In introducing the 1984 biology graduate at Saturday morning’s BGSU commencement ceremonies, Provost Rodney Rogers noted she was the first woman to rise from the junior enlisted ranks to become a flag officer. Ryan offered the graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences “four observations that led to my success and could lead to yours.” “Remember BGSU,” she said. The “B” stands for beacon, she said. “Be a beacon for others,”…

Read More