Army Maj. Gen. Robert L. Halverson (left) and the late U.S. Air Force Col. Sheldon Godkin are the inaugural inductees of CSU’s new Stalwart Rams Wall of Fame.
Colorado State University’s Air Force and Army ROTC programs have started a new tradition in the Military Science Building that honors the individuals who have left a lasting mark on the two programs.
The new Stalwart Rams Wall of Fame is inducting its inaugural class during the annual Alumni Rendezvous private event on Nov. 11. The honorees include Maj. Gen. Robert L. Halverson, a 1963 graduate and strong supporter of the AROTC program, and the late U.S. Air Force Col. Sheldon Godkin, a faculty member who played a key role in taking the AFROTC program to new heights.
The new wall of fame will be a permanent fixture on the first floor of the Military Science Building, with photos and biographies of each of its members. The display is the first major initiative by CSU’s new ROTC Alumni Council, chartered in 2021 by CSU ROTC commanders Army Lt. Col. Matthew Tillman and Air Force Col. Gregg S. Johnson and 1971 graduate Col. (Ret.) Steve Ray, who serves as the council’s chair.
CSU ROTC Alumni Council founding members
Colorado State University’s Air Force and Army ROTC programs have established an alumni council focusing on mentorship and philanthropy. The founding members are:
- Steve Ray, ’71 (chair)
- Steven Abt, ’73, ’76, ’80
- Sean Linehan, ’96
- Debra Terry, ’80
- Dave Tuthill, ’74
- Air Force Col. Gregg S. Johnson, ’96
- Army Lt. Col. Matthew Tillman, ’04
Tillman explained that the wall of fame celebrates those who have made a significant impact on the ROTC programs at CSU. “It really shows our students what it means to be a part of these programs at CSU,” he said.
Johnson explained that the CSU ROTC Alumni Council played a key role in nominating and selecting this year’s inductees, adding that service is a key trait of both members. “Their service goes beyond a military capacity,” he said. “It’s service for the future. We’re honored to work with those who care about developing and producing the best military officers.”
Stalwart Rams Wall of Fame members
Maj. Gen. Robert L. Halverson
Maj. Gen. Robert L. Halverson is a 1963 graduate of the Army ROTC program at CSU, earning a bachelor’s degree in industrial construction management. After CSU, he was commissioned as a military intelligence officer and later served a tour of duty in Vietnam as an intelligence advisor.
Halverson served in the military with honor and distinction for more than 38 years, from Fort Hood, Texas, where he became the S3 of the 303rd ASA Battalion to Belgium, where his final active-duty assignment involved serving as commander of the special liaison office headquarters in NATO.
Upon leaving active duty in 1979, he entered the U.S. Army Reserve, where he eventually assumed the duties of the commander of 49th Armored Division in Texas. As its commander, he was responsible for pertinent operational, training, administration and functional areas of subordinate units to assure their ability to accomplish their peacetime and mobilization mission.
Since his retirement in 2002, Halverson has been a strong supporter of CSU, establishing a scholarship dedicated to leadership.
When looking back at his college experiences, Halverson said he has great memories of doing the drills, throwing rifles around, making mistakes, correcting mistakes and learning a lot. He said being an inaugural Wall of Fame Member is hard to put into words.
“I am truly honored. I know there are probably so many others who are more deserving,” he said. “I had no idea they were thinking about it. I am truly honored to be recognized, and it gives me more inspiration about what more I can do and go do it.”
Col. Sheldon Godkin
Col. Sheldon Godkin served as commander and professor of aerospace studies of CSU’s AFROTC Detachment 90, where he established the Ram-Falcon Trophy as part of the annual CSU-Air Force football game.
Following his retirement from the Air Force in 1983, he established and managed the CSU University Club for 17 years. As a result, he was awarded the Special Meritorious Service Award by CSU, was named an honorary alumnus, and received the Community Partner Award for his support and dedication to the AFROTC program at CSU.
During his 31-year career in the Air Force, Godkin accumulated over 4,000 hours of flying time, including 100 combat missions in the F-105 Thud during the Vietnam War. Other assignments included Taiwan, where he had the opportunity to fly F-100s with the Taiwanese Air Force as a fighter instructor and earned Taiwanese Pilot Wings.
Debra Terry was a student when Godkin was assigned the professor of aerospace studies during her senior year.
“Col. Godkin was a decorated fighter pilot before being assigned to our unit and felt strongly about me competing for one of only two slots afforded all of the ROTC units in Colorado,” she said. “He saw in me strength and commitment I did not, but I trusted his insight without question. He fought strongly for me and secured me the opportunity to qualify.”
With his encouragement, Terry successfully completed abbreviated ground school and civilian flight training, and the next spring was selected to attend Undergraduate Pilot Training. “My life completely changed,” she said. “He gave me the confidence I carried with me the rest of my career, enabling me to complete a grueling pilot training program and rise to become a KC-135A/R Standardization/Evaluation Instructor Pilot.”
Editor’s note: CSU’s Matthew Manguso contributed to the portion of the story on Maj. Gen. David Halverson.