AFROTC Finds a New Home in Hollenback Hall

by Kelly Clisham
group of dignitaries and cadets in front of hollenback hall for the afrotc ribbon cutting

Wilkes University recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate AFROTC Detachment 752’s relocation to Hollenback Hall, a space that will allow the program to continue its mission of developing future U.S. Air Force and Space Force leaders.

Wilkes has hosted the Air Force ROTC Program since 1973. Under the direction of their first commander, Colonel James Aikman, 14 students were enrolled. Over the program’s 50-year history, Air Force ROTC Detachment 752 has trained and prepared hundreds of young men and women for future careers as U.S. Air Force officers. Currently, the detachment has 34 active cadets and will commission four new Second Lieutenants into the United States Air Force in May.

Hollenback Hall has served many purposes on campus, being used as a women’s dormitory, offices for The Beacon newspaper, home to the Intensive English Program and a branch office for the VA guidance program. Though the building had been vacant, University leaders determined that Hollenback’s prime location, size and historical charm made it a perfect fit for the detachment’s needs.

“We are proud to have made this investment in ROTC at Wilkes and thank the detachment for all that they bring to our campus,” said President Greg Cant.  

Hollenback Hall was redeveloped to include study rooms, computers, a conference room, planning spaces for the cadet wing’s leadership, offices and a pool table in the cadet lounge which is dedicated in memory of 2003 Wilkes alum Major Candice Adams Ismerle. Plus, the size of the building means there is room for expansion as the program continues to grow.

“There’s so much more we now have the capability to do,” said Lieutenant Colonel Lyons, ROTC Detachment 752 commander and professor of aerospace studies.

Notable guests who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony include Wilkes alumnus and State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski, Wilkes-Barre City Mayor George Brown, and Chair of the Wilkes University Board of Trustees Bill Miller. Following the ribbon cutting, guests were invited inside Hollenback Hall to enjoy refreshments, tour the building and meet some of the cadets.

You may also like