WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — With a mixture of tears and applause Saturday afternoon, Wilkes University dedicated what is now known as the Maj. Candice Adams Ismirle Leadership Lounge. Maj. Ismirle’s family and friends joined the Wilkes Community for the unveiling of a plaque. It bears a photo of the Brodheadsville native. It stands as a reminder of the courage, compassion and commitment she exhibited as a Wilkes Air Force cadet and later as an Air Force Major who in February lost a long battle with breast cancer.
“I think she epitomized all that we hope for our graduates,” said Wilkes University President Patrick Leahy who was among those who spoke glowingly of the 2003 Wilkes Graduate. “We just felt it was important that the students that come through Wilkes learn her story in particular how courageous she was at the end of her life,” he said.
Candice’s courage was profiled in a 2012 report by her longtime friend — Wilkes graduate and journalist Kyla Campbell who contributed a collage of photos for the dedication. “She faced the challenges of cancer with such grace and a lot of strength that a lot of people don’t have,” said Ms. Campbell. U.S. Air Force ROTC Detachment 752 Commander Lt. Col. John Baum added, “Candice just embodied the Air Force core values of integrity, service and excellence and she lived that and it was evident in her daily fight.”
Maj. Ismirle’s military attire and a pink scarf worn during her cancer battle are part of the tribute. Those effects and her signature sentiment “Choose to celebrate life rather than simply survive it” are what her former ROTC detachment’s commander hope will always inspire. “Her thumbprint will be on every cadet from here on out that graduates from Det. 752,” said Lt. Col. Baum.
The Maj. Candice Adams Ismirle Lounge is located at University Center on Main on the Wilkes campus.