“Establishing this VA student center is a huge milestone for the Grace College Campus and its veteran students,” said Scott Shaffer, Grace’s assistant registrar and VA student services officer. “It shows that Grace is taking the initiative to support our military.”
The center, located in Grace’s Gordon Student Recreation Center, will provide a place for veteran students to connect and commune with fellow veterans, network, and share strategies, information, and support as they adjust to a higher education environment. Veteran students can also use the VA Student Service Center to study and stay up-to-date regarding military announcements and civilian affairs, such as career placement.
“As a former United States Air Force Officer, I’m excited about Grace’s initiatives to support the veteran’s program,” says Tom Dunn, the chief operating officer for Grace College and Seminary. “It’s gratifying to see the school assisting veteran students by providing facilities to specifically meet their needs as they adjust to the higher education setting.”
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by veteran students, as well as faculty, staff, and community supporters. Both Shaffer and Grace President Dr. Ronald Manahan spoke, praising the efforts of Grace to accommodate the unique needs of its veteran students. Wayne Thomas, Grace’s Student Veterans Organization president, also spoke, thanking and recognizing the VA Student Service Center’s supporters. Grace would also like to thank the Kosciusko community foundation for its lead gift to establish the office of Veterans affairs at Grace College and the Military Family Research Institute for funding the new VA research center.
Grace College and Seminary currently has 18 students claiming Veterans benefits. Of the 18 students, 10 are military veterans and 8 are the dependents of military veterans.
Grace College is an evangelical Christian community of higher education which applies biblical values in strengthening character, sharpening competence, and preparing for service. The academic, residential, athletic, and social aspects of the college are designed to encourage intellectual and spiritual growth in a supportive campus community. The 180-acre campus is located in the historic resort town of Winona Lake, near Warsaw, Ind. It has historically been among the top schools of its size and listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges. The Princeton Review has regularly awarded it the title of a “Best Midwestern College.”