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Former Marine Philippi ’06 to Give Veterans Day Lecture


After graduating from Hamilton with a world politics major and economics minor, Nicholas Philippi ’06 served nine years as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Philippi, who served primarily as a UH-1Y helicopter pilot, will deliver the seventh annual Josiah Bunting III Veterans Day Lecture on Monday, Nov. 11, at 6:30 p.m., in the Taylor Science Center, Kennedy Auditorium.

“During my time at Hamilton, our country was engaged in armed conflicts, and I felt that serving in the military was my way to help,” Philippi said.

The summer between his junior and senior years at Hamilton, Philippi attended the Platoon Leaders Course for 10 weeks in Quantico, Va. After graduating from Hamilton, he accepted a commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Philippi was assigned to a light-attack helicopter squadron whose mission was to provide close air support to troops on the ground; he was also deployed to Southeast Asia and Afghanistan.

Philippi left active duty in 2015 to attend MIT Sloan School of Management where he received his masters of business administration. Today, he works as a financial advisor in Boston, helping individuals and families create, implement, and manage financial plans.

“While on paper it may be hard to see, there are some parallels between my time in the Marines and my new job. In both cases, I am leveraging communication skills and analyzing data to develop a strategic plan. Once the plan is in motion, I must be able to adapt to a changing environment and course-correct along the way.”

At his Veterans Day lecture, Philippi will further address that connection. He plans to share what motivated him to join the military, impactful moments along the way, and his transition out of active duty. He will also discuss what Veterans Day means to him, as well as why service, in any capacity, should be considered.

When asked what he hopes attendees take away, Philippi replied, “I simply want [students] to have the opportunity to hear a 36-year-old veteran share his story. I am not trying to inspire or dissuade anyone from joining the military. I hope to discuss the importance of service, in any capacity, and how it has shaped me as a person, a son, a husband, and a father.” 

The lecture is sponsored by AHI Undergraduate Fellows Program.

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