Grand opening set for NNU’s Office of Veterans Services
The community, students, faculty and staff are invited to the grand opening of NNUs Office of Veterans Services on Tuesday, April 7, at 4 p.m. The event will include remarks by President David Alexander, Director of Veterans Services Bob Sanchez and representatives from the Student Veterans Club. After the ceremony, everyone is invited to tour the Center.
The NNU Veterans Services Center is designed to support student veterans and military family members beyond the classroom while providing services that reinforce transition and improve retention. It will be a one-stop shop for student-veterans who need help with GI benefits, transcripts and other issues as they transition into college life. The Veterans Services Center will work closely with other campus departments, including Military Science, Student Services, and Enrollment and Marketing, to help veterans achieve their educational goals and go on to gainful employment. A mentor program involving veterans will also be established to provide student veterans with academic advising.
The Center offers a comfortable and collegial place for student veterans to study, socialize with other veterans, and meet with academic advisors, tutors and mentors. The center, which features computer stations, a TV, coffee and snacks, also gives the Student Veterans Club a home base. The Student Veterans Club is currently developing projects to unite university veterans with the local community and to promote student involvement in the newly established Student Veterans Club.
“At the university, we’ve seen a growing number of military veterans taking advantage of the G.I. Bill to seek higher education,” said Sanchez. “We wanted to give them a welcoming, supportive environment to help ease their transition from military life to college and civilian life as they pursue their academic goals.”
“These men and women have served our country and continue to contribute by bringing to campus a special perspective borne of their experiences in the military,” said President David Alexander. “The Veterans Center is one way we are setting the conditions of success not only for our student veterans and their family members but for our entire university family and local community.”
More than 70 students at NNU are veterans, members of the military or military dependents, approximately 3 percent of the total student body. That number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. In 2013, The Department of Veterans Affairs reported more than one million veterans used the G.I. Bill to further their studies resulting in over $12 billion in benefits for veterans pursuing a post-secondary education. Over 5 million post-9/11 service members are expected to transition out of the military by 2020. Since the enactment of the Post-9/11 GI Bill in 2008, Americans have invested over $42 billion on educating many of these transitioning service members.
“I am very excited for this grand opening because I believe the Veterans Services Center will serve as a multipurpose center for veterans and civilian students,” said Brice Towne, a student veteran. “It’s a place where veterans can speak their minds and be with others that understand what we’ve been through. I also believe it will provide a bridge to help civilian students learn more about vets, dispel misconceptions and raise awareness of the advantages that student veterans bring to our community.”
As part of the Veterans Services Center opening, a “Wall of Honor” will be created to recognize student, alumni, faculty and staff who are military veterans. Members of the NNU Student Veterans Club are soliciting 3×5 photographs along with a description of the veteran’s rank and branch of service to include in the display. To submit a photo, stop by the center or call Bob Sanchez for more information.
NNU’s Veterans Center will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Bob Sanchez, Director of Veterans Services, at 208-467-8503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.