Grace College Student Veteran Organization Wins Award

The Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University has awarded $600 to Grace College’s Student Veterans Organization, which will use the money to support its student service members and veterans on campus. The grant was one of six awards made on Saturday, January 22, 2011, which ranged from $600 to $2,000 and totaled $9,350.

“This is not just a generous donation by the MFRI to our current students, but it is a wonderful investment in our future veteran students that are currently serving to protect our freedom,” said Wayne Thomas, president of the Student Veteran’s Organization at Grace. In the past year, Grace has made aggressive effort in addressing veteran needs, adding an on-campus Veteran Student’s Center and providing special benefits for military students and their families.

“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.”

Student veterans organizations (SVOs) offer opportunities for students to make valuable connections with other student service members and veterans, as well as supportive faculty and staff.  This often eases the transition into academic work and the campus environment.  SVO members frequently pursue community initiatives and collaborations with other organizations, allowing them to become more invested in campus life and the local community.

“Students who are more engaged on campus tend to be more successful,” said Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, director of MFRI. “In addition to providing a sense of community, SVOs can also motivate their members to access the spectrum of services available to them, including financial aid, academic advising and student services.”

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