HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — In honor of Veterans Day, Marshall University is pledging increased support for student veterans as part of West Virginia’s ‘5 Star Challenge’ initiative which launched earlier this fall.
The challenge, which calls on institutions to adopt a set of exemplary standards for supporting student veterans, is a tribute to the military tradition of issuing “challenge coins” to service members who embody the values and standards of their military units.
The event at Marshall, which starts at 1 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center’s Shawkey Room, will begin with a brief keynote speech by Marshall alumnus Lt. Col. Timothy Vance, who is currently studying at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, followed by the presentation of the 5 Star Challenge coin by David Moske, president of the student veterans organization, Veterans 4 Veterans, to Marshall University Interim President Gary White, who by accepting the coin, accepts the 5 Star Challenge.
In accepting the challenge, Marshall University has committed to 1) providing a signed commitment from White to adopt best practices and standards; 2) emphasizing a focus on increasing access and affordability to higher education for student veterans; 3) providing increased academic support including priority registration for classes; 4) enhancing social networks for veterans on campus; and 5) encouraging greater collaboration with community organizations working to meet the needs of military service members. A detailed outline of the challenge can be found at www.cfwv.com, the state’s free college and career-planning website.
“We are proud to announce that all public four-year undergraduate institutions in West Virginia have accepted the ‘5 Star Challenge,’ ” Dr. Paul Hill, chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, said. “Their participation in this effort not only acknowledges a sincere commitment to meeting the unique needs of our student veterans, but also results in real policies that will provide tangible benefits to military service members who are pursuing higher education. By providing student veterans with services such as priority registration and building stronger support networks on campus, we are honoring their service to our country and equipping them with the resources they need to succeed.”
The “5 Star Challenge” is an initiative of the Office of Veterans Education and Training Programs within the Division of Student Affairs at the Commission and West Virginia Community and Technical College System. In addition to issuing the challenge to campuses, the Commission and WVCTCS are committed to providing more resources to help student veterans navigate the higher education system and find support on campus and in the community.
This Veterans Day event is free and open to the public. Please contact Kim White, director of military and veterans affairs at Marshall University, at 304-696-5278 for more information.