In 1966, just months after graduating from Fordham College at Rose Hill, Warren T. Gregory enlisted in the Army and, after completing Officer Candidate School, volunteered for service in the Vietnam War. The Long Island native answered the country’s call to serve roughly 100 years after one of his Irish ancestors joined the 51st New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment to fight for the Union in the Civil War.

“Since the Civil War, Fordham’s men and women have distinguished themselves with courage and honor on America’s battlefields—wherever it has taken them,” he said on Saturday at Fordham’s inaugural military ball, celebrating 175 years of military training and service at the University. “My family, as well as many of yours, has courageously stepped forward when our country called them.”

Gregory was inducted into the Fordham University Military Hall of Fame at the dinner, which was held at the University’s Lincoln Center campus.

“Warren exemplifies cura personalis,” or care for the whole person, said Matthew Butler, PCS ’16, senior director of the University’s Office of Military and Veterans’ Services, referencing one of the tenets of a Fordham, Jesuit education—the promise to encourage and support students, mind, body, heart, and soul. Butler, who graduated from Fordham in 2016 after serving in the Marines, said he counts himself among the Fordham student veterans Gregory has mentored.

From Military Service to Social Work

old photo of soldier in Vietnam
Gregory was stationed in Chau Doc Province during the Vietnam War.

During the Vietnam War, Gregory served in Chau Doc Province, and he received a Vietnam Air Combat Medal, a Bronze Star, and a Vietnam Service Ribbon for his actions. After he was discharged, he worked in politics and finance in Washington, D.C., before he felt a familiar pull toward service, albeit of a different kind.

He joined Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a national organization that works with state court systems to offer counseling and support to children in foster care. He went on to earn a master’s degree in social work and become a licensed master social worker, putting his new skills to use in the Army once again, at Fort Cavazos and Fort Hood, where he helped service members returning from combat deployments and worked on suicide prevention and other programs “that made an impact on the lives of his soldiers,” Butler said.

Before retiring, Gregory returned to CASA, first in California and then in Westchester County, New York. He now lives in Utah, and he continues to work with veterans—including at Fordham, where his influence helped lead to the creation of an art history and appreciation course for veterans. The course is open to students in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies and is held at the Lincoln Center campus.

His support isn’t limited to veterans, though. In 1991, Gregory and other members of the Class of 1966 established an endowed scholarship to honor George McMahon, S.J., a former dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill who drove home the value of service, calling it “the rent we pay for our time on Earth.”

“We have to believe in the totality of ourselves, and that’s, I think, what my Fordham education gave me,” Gregory said. “We are part of the universe; we are part of a lot of different things. Military service is an important part of that. My memories of Vietnam are a part of that mix, but there’s also another part: There’s the humanity of life, the opening of understanding, the ability to listen.”

In addition to Gregory, Stephanie Ramos-Tomeoni, a 2005 alumna of Fordham’s Army ROTC program who is now a correspondent for ABC News and a major in the U.S. Army Reserves, was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The military ball was held to help underwrite academic, social, and career transition programming for student veterans, ROTC cadets and midshipmen, and other military-connected students at Fordham.