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Duquesne ROTC Run Benefits School of Leadership

Two graduating Duquesne University ROTC students organized a benefit run in the name of a local Marine who was killed in action in Afghanistan and donated the money to the University’s military education program.

The run was developed by Joe Vitti and Chris Cavanaugh after they learned about Ryan Lane, who was killed in action in July 2009 during his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Lane’s aunt, Renee Kochanski, works as a housekeeper in Duquesne’s Sean Hogan Dining Center. When she told Vitti about Ryan, “The next thing we knew, they’d organized a run,” said Kathy Hanley, Ryan’s mother.

More than $6,000 raised from this year’s run was given on May 5 to the School of Leadership and Professional Advancement (SLPA), which encompasses the military education program. In just two years, the Run for Ryan has raised more than $11,000.

Vitti hope the run brings awareness of the sacrifices made by service members and their families, and that the scholarship can give something back to those who have risked their lives for their country.

“Service members don’t make the news every day,” said Vitti. “We’re thankful to Ryan’s service and his brothers in arms. We hope this run provides an opportunity for people to notice families like Kathy’s within their own communities.”

SLPA Dean Dorothy Bassett congratulated the students on the success of the event and commended them for their leadership.

“It is such an honor for the School of Leadership to receive the donation from the Run for Ryan to be used for scholarships for our military students,” said Bassett. “The Duquesne ROTC students who organized this demonstrated exemplary leadership. Not only will this assist military students in achieving their educational goals, it will also serve as a remarkable way of honoring the sacrifice of Marine Staff Sgt. Ryan Lane and others like him who gave so much for this country.”

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.