Mar. 10, 2011

Geneseo honors 2005 graduate killed in Afghanistan

Lt. Mohsin Naqvi military portrait

Lt. Mohsin Naqvi '05, who was killed on active duty with the U.S. Army in 2008 in Afghanistan. On March 9, the college honored Naqvi in special ceremonies, in which his family was presented with a plaque, seen below. A plaque will also be on display at Geneseo.














Lt. Mohsin Naqvi graduated from Geneseo in 2005 and soon after enlisted to serve his country. In September 2008, he was killed on active U.S. Army duty in Afghanistan.

On March 9, the college community paid tribute to him with a special memorial ceremony that included a military honor guard from Rochester Institute of Technology and the presentation of two plaques: one to be mounted in Milne Library in Naqvi's memory and one presented to Naqvi's family members, who were present for the ceremony. There was also a special exhibit on display, "Collected Stories of American Muslims." It's president and curator, Amir Muhammed, gave a presentation on Muslim U.S. veterans at the ceremony.

Naqvi, a computer science major, attended Geneseo through the Access Opportunity Program (AOP). The program helps meet the higher educational aspirations of academically talented students who are under-represented at the post-secondary level of education. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry out of Fort Benning, Ga. He served as a combat medic and Urdu interpreter.

Naqvi's father, Nazar Naqvi, describes his son as "First an American, then a Muslim." Mohsin emigrated with his family from Pakistan at age 8 and became an American citizen at 16.

Lt. Mohsin Naqvi plaque GeneseoNaqvi posthumously received the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart.

"We are honored to be remembering our alumnus and American war hero on our campus," said Fowziyyah Ali, associate director of AOP and a member of the memorial event planning committee.

Rizwan "Rizzy" Qureshi '03 said he has never been more proud of his alma mater for honoring Naqvi. Qureshi, who commented on the college's website, organized a panel discussion on campus after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to help address misconceptions of Islam and anti-Muslim backlash.

"Lt. Naqvi is a testament to the fact that American-Muslims share in the sacrifice of all Americans," Qureshi said. "The tragedies of war or terrorism are not limited to one religion, race or gender. I commend all those who have worked hard to organize this very important event."