Education

YSU Veterans Center Named in Honor of Vietnam Vet

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown State University Veterans Resource Center on Wick Avenue was named in honor of Carl A. Nunziato, a YSU alumnus, attorney, civic leader and decorated Vietnam War veteran.

“It is rare that so many of the values that we all hold so dear are wrapped up in a single individual like Carl,” YSU President Jim Tressel said. “We are fortunate to have Carl as an important part of the YSU family, and it is our privilege to name our Veterans Resource Center in his honor.”

As part of the dedication, YSU accepted a $1 million gift in Nunziato’s honor from an anonymous donor.

“I am touched and humbled by this generous act on the part of my alma mater,” said Nunziato, who served two tours of duty in Vietnam and lost both of his legs in combat. “It is a great honor to be forever associated with two things that are so near and dear to my heart – veterans and YSU.”

Nunziato and fellow veterans and YSU alumni, Harry Meshel and Bernie Kosar Sr., were the driving force behind the creation of the Veterans Resource Center, which opened in 2014. The center, which serves the needs of veteran students, is one of the few free-standing university veterans buildings in the nation. The center was funded entirely with private donations.

“Carl is committed to ensuring the success of all student veterans on campus,” said Rick Williams, manager of the YSU Office of Veterans Affairs. “He is an inspiration and a role model for all of us, and we’re proud to have his name connected forever with the center.”

Paul McFadden, president of the YSU Foundation, said the university has identified three qualities for naming buildings on campus: philanthropy, service to the university, or service to country. “Carl, without question, represents all three,” he said.

A native of Youngstown who grew up in the Smoky Hollow neighborhood adjacent to the YSU campus, Nunziato earned a bachelor’s degree in English and education in 1961 and, through the YSU ROTC program, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the army. In Vietnam, he had both of his legs amputated after getting hit by a mortar during an enemy attack on his artillery unit in 1966. He returned to the United States and spent nearly two years recovering in the hospital. He was honorably discharged in 1968 with the rank of major. Nunziato then enrolled in the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, earning a law degree in 1971. He returned to his hometown and worked for nearly 30 years at Dollar Savings and Trust Co., Ohio Bancorp and National City Bank.

His list of military honors consists of the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with three Battle Stars and Aircraft Crew Gunner Wings.

He is the co-founder of the Youngstown chapter of the Governor’s Subcommittee for Barrier Free Architecture. He worked tirelessly to prevent the closure of the YSU ROTC program in the early 1990s, and he established the Carl Nunziato Scholarship that provides tuition or room and board assistance for eligible ROTC cadets. He has served on the board of the YSU Foundation since 2008.

Pictured: Carl A. Nunziato.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.