LAWRENCE — Second Lt. Julian McCafferty, a U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps graduate, is the 2014 recipient of the Chancellor John Fraser Distinguished Military Graduate Award in recognition of outstanding achievement as an ROTC cadet.
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little presented the award, given by the KU Veteran’s Alumni Chapter, at KU’s Joint ROTC Commissioning Ceremony held May 19 in the Kansas Union Ballroom. The recipient of the award exemplifies academic excellence, leadership, physical fitness and dedication to community service.
A native of Lawrence, McCafferty was selected for the Fraser Award from a pool of nearly 250 cadets and midshipmen in KU’s Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC programs. McCafferty graduated from KU with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering.
While a cadet, McCafferty took on numerous leadership positions in his detachment, including serving as cadet wing vice commander, and he managed many core training and development functions of the AFROTC program. As a student, McCafferty published two peer-reviewed academic papers on aerospace-related subjects and held both the vice president and president positions in the Sigma Gamma Tau National Aerospace Honor Society. In addition, he was lauded by professors as the Outstanding Aerospace Sophomore and selected for internships at the prestigious Air Force Institute of Technology, the National Reconnaissance Office, and he was peer-selected as class CEO of a 40-plus team successfully competing in the National Wind Turbine build competition.
In the community, McCafferty was an active volunteer with the Habitat for Humanity, a mentor for a local elementary school, and volunteer for a community soup kitchen and the annual KU Engineering Science Career Day Expo. He consistenly 100 percent on the Air Force Physical Fitness Test.
“It was a privilege to commission Second Lieutenant Julian McCafferty into the United States Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Brian Salmans, professor of aerospace science and commander of the Air Force ROTC detachment. “He has demonstrated outstanding leadership while in the Air Force ROTC program, culminating with recognition as this year’s Fraser Award winner. Lieutenant McCafferty consistently set high standards and accomplished numerous academic achievements at KU and within the Air Force detachment. His outstanding accomplishments are representative of the entire senior class of Air Force commissionees.”
McCafferty is the second recipient of the Fraser Award. Last year Tyler Beck, an Army ROTC graduate, was the recipient.
The namesake of the award, John Fraser, a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, was a veteran of the Civil War before becoming KU’s second chancellor in 1868. As an officer with the 140th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment, Fraser served in several key engagements of the war, including the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg and the Wilderness Campaign, and he was captured at the battle of Spotsylvania. He became a prisoner of war for more than eight months during the last year of the war, and he was later promoted to brigadier general in recognition of his service. Fraser served as chancellor until 1874. His saber and Civil War uniform are held within the Spencer Research Library. The award presented is a wooden plague featuring a photograph of Fraser wearing his Civil War general officer’s uniform.
KU is one of only 50 universities in the nation offering a ROTC program that represents all branches of the military. Besides training KU students, the ROTC program also trains cadets, midshipmen and officer candidates at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Baker University in Baldwin City, the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, Washburn University in Topeka, Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Johnson County Community College in Overland Park and Kansas City Kansas Community College.