The ROTC at Elizabeth City State University will commission two cadets at 11 a.m.
on May 8 in the theater of the Ridley Student Center: Benjamin Christensen, a native
of St Angelo, TX, and Dequan Spencer, a native of Whispering Pines, N.C., will serve
in the Medical Service Corps of the U.S. Army.
The speaker for the ceremony is retired Colonel Randy Bell, a Smithfield, NC native,
and a 1972 graduate of ECSU. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in the Social
Sciences at ECSU and he earned master's degrees in Educational Leadership from Troy
State University and National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
Entering the Marine Corps at Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Va., Colonel Bell
was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in August 1974. He served in various operational
and staff positions in the aviation logistics field. He served as Commanding Officer
of the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. He retired
from the Marine Corps in September 2004 while serving as Assistant Chief of Staff,
Aviation Logistics at the US Marine Corps Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.
Colonel Bell's military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious
Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps
Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service
Medal (w/star) and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (w/two stars).
In addition to recognition for outstanding military performance and achievement, Colonel
Bell was recognized in 2000 in the Virginian Pilot among the African-American Leaders
of Hampton Roads. He received a Distinguished Alumnus Award by the National Association
for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education for outstanding achievement as a graduate
of one of the historically black colleges and universities in 2000. He was awarded
the 2000 Eastern Province, Kappa Alpha Psi Professional Achievement Award and named
an "Unsung Hero" by The Hampton Roads Pan-Hellenic Council in 2002. Colonel Bell
received an Alumni Merit Award for dedicated military service and professional achievement
from the ECSU Alumni Association in 2004.
Colonel Bell has participated in various church, fraternal, and community activities.
A life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, he has served the fraternity in various
leadership positions as an undergraduate and in alumni chapters in Gretna La; New
Orleans, La; Honolulu, HI, and Chesapeake/Virginia Beach, Va. He is also life member
of the ECSU National Alumni Association. Colonel Bell currently serves as Treasurer
of the ECSU Foundation Board of Directors. He also serves on the Virginia Beach Citizens
Advisory Board and Congressman Glenn Nye's Veterans Advisory Committee. He is active
with The Hampton Roads Committee of 200+Men, Inc., Urban League of Hampton Roads,
and the ECSU Virginia Beach Alumni Chapter. Colonel Bell is married to the former
Carol Regina Daniels of Thomasville, Ga. They have one son, Randy II (R J), a fifth
year pharmacy student at Florida A&M University, and one daughter, Danielle Alysia,
a junior at the University of Richmond.