The University of Colorado Boulder will honor the nation's veterans, including CU-Boulder's own faculty, staff and student veterans, with a Nov. 11 Veteran's Day ceremony at 11 a.m. in the University Memorial Center's Glenn Miller Ballroom.
The free, public ceremony will feature guest speakers, including Rear Adm. Kerry M. Metz, Commander, Special Operations Command North; Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, The Adjutant General and Executive Director of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in Colorado; Michael Grant, Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education; Ben Purser, president of the CU-Boulder Student Veterans Association; and Tyler Romero, UMC Board Chair. A reception will follow in the UMC Veterans Lounge.
CU-Boulder is home to more than 1,000 student veterans and veteran dependent students, and more than 300 faculty and staff vets, according to Stew Elliott, program manager of CU-Boulder's Veteran Services Office on campus. The office, located in C4C, serves as a one stop shop to support student veterans. Elliott says many campuses across the country should expect to see even more student veterans in the coming years.
"For example, the army will be downsizing by approximately 400,000 people in the next few years, and all of these people are going to have access to Post 9-11 GI Bill benefits, which covers their full tuition and fees, so many of them are going to choose to go to college; my hope is that they choose to come to CU-Boulder," Elliott said.
And Elliott says CU-Boulder attracts a lot of veterans, who enjoy the location and want to attend a world class university that is especially strong in the sciences and technology fields.
"Many of the veteran students that we attract come with skills they have already learned in the military, and they want to build on these skills," Elliott said. "We have students who have worked on nuclear submarines, we have one student who used seismic readers to monitor plate tectonics while in the Air Force. Many of these students bring great qualities with the additional challenges of the transition to civilian life."
One of Elliott's long term goals for the CU-Boulder Veteran Services Office is to have an expanded lounge where the veteran students can decompress from the stresses of transition from the military to college life. Coming from various backgrounds and situations in the military presents unique challenges for students transitioning from the military to life as full-time students.
"Many of our veteran students currently benefit greatly by having a dedicated place on campus in the C4C where they can hang out together and decompress from that transition," Elliott said.
The best part of his job, Elliott said, is getting to work with the students and help them reach their goals post military.
"Working with the veteran students who come through my door looking for resources or help, or someone to talk to, is the most rewarding part of this job," Elliott said.
Other Veterans Day events include:
- Saturday, Nov. 9, Veterans Day 5K. Army ROTC is organizing a 5k race in Denver that starts at 8 a.m. There also will be a Veterans Day Parade after the 5k (at 10am).
- Tuesday, Nov. 12, Money Workshop. CU Money Sense is offering a free personal finance workshop for student veterans "that are interested in managing their finances better as well as discussing money behaviors and attitudes." There will be a light breakfast, giveaways, and prizes. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know you'd like to attend.
- Saturday, Nov. 16, Veterans Day Pre-Game. Before the Buffs-Bears game, the Veterans Services Office and the SVA are hosting a "tailgate party" inside the UMC. There will be food and drink, prizes and a live band ($10.) Registration in advance is suggested. Get tickets at www.cubuffs.com/promo, and use the promotion code "military". More details.