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Veterans Day Media Advisory and Photo Op for Friday, Nov. 10

University of Saint Joseph Honors Two Veterans with Awards Named After Two Female Graduates Who Provided Groundbreaking

Service in the Armed Forces


Friday, Nov. 10 from 10:30-11:30 A.M.

USJ’s Crystal Room, 1678 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford


WHAT:             The University of Saint Joseph will honor a graduate and staff member for their outstanding service to America and the University of Saint Joseph community with awards named after two USJ alumna known for their groundbreaking service in the Armed Forces.


Graduate Brian Tracey will receive the Frances Shea Buckley Award.  Brian enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as a member of the Security Forces and served on active duty from 2006 - 2012. His deployments include Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007 – 2008 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009 and 2011 - 2012. Brian’s individual decorations include Iraq Campaign Medal with 1 Service Star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border & 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Good Conduct Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster.


Tracey’s award is named after Rear Admiral Frances Shea Buckley, a 1950 graduate of USJ.  For over 30 years Buckley served in the Navy, including as operating room supervisor on the USS Repose off the coast of Vietnam which treated over 2,000 combat casualties.  During her final assignment, Buckley was promoted to Rear Admiral. At that time, she was the only active duty female Rear Admiral and one of the highest-ranking women in Navy history.


Oliver Priesnitz will receive the Colonel B. Catherine Noble Award.  USJ’s Helpdesk Coordinator in Information Technology, Oliver served 20 years as a combat engineer with Bravo Company, 242nd Engineer Battalion of the Connecticut Army National Guard. His unit’s mission included supporting the State in times of crisis, and was called up several times for weather emergencies. The unit was also deployed to the Dominican Republic to construct schools and other public structures that could double as hurricane shelters.


The Colonel B. Catherine Noble Award is named after a 1947 graduate of USJ and native of Hartford who, at the time of her retirement in 1979 was among the highest-ranking African-American female officers in Army history and the first African-American woman to hold the rank of Colonel in the Army Medical Specialist Corps.  During her Army career, Noble assumed executive assignments at the 10th Evac Hospital, Würzburg, Germany; Fitsimmons General Hospital, Denver; and US Army Hospital, Camp Zama, Japan.