Public Affairs

Enduring Commitment to CSU Student Veterans

November 9, 2012

On Monday, Nov. 12, all 23 campuses and the CSU Chancellor's Office will close to honor the service of our nation's veterans. 

Honoring those who serve extends well beyond Veterans Day.  The CSU commitment to veterans is an enduring expression of the university's mission of access.  That commitment reaches the individual experience of students as they visit and attend campus.

When student veteran Travis Fugate lost his sight due to a roadside bomb in Iraq, he committed to continue moving forward in his life through higher education in computer science.  A tour of CSU Monterey Bay convinced him that the campus was the right place for a veteran with special needs.

"Perhaps the hardest barrier to overcome as a blind person is the social one," said Fugate.  "At CSUMB, there is a continual willingness by people to help when needed or just to be there to talk."

On every CSU campus, military veterans are an indispensible part of the community.  Veterans are university students, staff, faculty and alumni.

Veteran combat medic Michael P. Jenkins served in Okinawa, Japan and Iraq.  Today, he can be found in a CSU Fullerton laboratory as he earns a bachelor's degree in biological science.  Veteran military policeman James Bleifus served in the first Gulf War.  Today, the Sonoma State alumnus is bringing new attention to hidden and invisible Vietnam War Memorials across California.  Rear Admiral Thomas A. Cropper served the nation for 31 years as aviator, air wing commander, leader of "Strike University" at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center and deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces, U.S. Central Command.  Today, he leads the California Maritime Academy as its 14th president.

Many activities in November and throughout the year honor and remember our nation's veterans both abroad and on campus.  Below are a few examples of campus activities.

  • The Student Veteran Association at Cal Maritime. The California Maritime Academy's President Cropper and the Veteran Student Association host a special dinner for students, faculty, and staff veterans as well as their family members.  The campus also honors veterans during morning formation.
  • CSU Channel Islands' Student Veterans Organization hosts a panel discussing the transition from the military to university life.  The students are also holding an "Ask a Vet" session and Survival Bracelet fundraiser.
  • CSU Chico hosts “Honoring Our Veterans,” featuring a color guard comprised of veterans in the community, exhibits on veterans made by Chico State students, patriotic music by the Chico Community Band and refreshments.
  • CSU East Bay proclaims Sunday, Nov. 11 “Military Appreciation Day,” when the university's men’s basketball team hosts Notre Dame de Namur.  The Athletic Department's annual “Help a Hero” fund-raising campaign benefits the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Operation Uplink.
  • Fresno State observes Veterans Day with three events on campus and participation in the Fresno Veterans Parade.  The campus also launches a new Veterans Education Program to help returning veterans with educational, vocational and workforce development opportunities.
  • Cal State Fullerton dedicates its new Student Veteran Center.  The campus also displays its Wall of Heroes and plants a tree in honor and recognition of veterans and active-duty personnel.  The Student Veterans Association donates the tree.
  • Humboldt State's Veterans Enrollment and Transition Services Department hosts the HSU VETS 2nd Annual Veterans Day Run/Walk in collaboration with the Student Veterans Association Club.  Proceeds support the reinstatement of an outdoor program for student veterans.
  • Cal State L.A. Veterans Affairs office launches an ‘ally’ program and hosts Veterans Appreciation Week.  The campus also kicks off Operation Gratitude to include personal letters and cards in care packages sent to troops overseas and in hospitals.
  • CSU Long Beach's Office of Veterans Affairs Services hosts a ceremony in honor of Veterans Day, including a birthday cake to celebrate the 237th Marine Corps birthday.
  • Cal Poly Pomona holds its Veterans Day observance ceremony, featuring an 80-member student concert band and the Army ROTC cadets.  The ceremony opens with the presentation of colors, and closes with echoing taps.
  • CSU Monterey Bay commemorates Veterans Day with the annual scholarship awards luncheon of the Fort Ord Alumni Association — an organization of veterans, many of whom served at the fort before part of it became the university.
  • Sacramento State’s Student Veterans Organization partners with the Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Department and the Placer County Veterans Service Office to collect items for care packages going to service members deployed overseas.
  • CSU San Bernardino hosts Veterans Awareness Week including, among other events, a military memorabilia exhibit, an honor wall, a care package drive for service men and women and a banquet celebrating the Marine Corps birthday.
  • San Diego State honors veterans during its annual War Memorial Ceremony as part of Homecoming.  Various other activities include a congressional visit, breakfast fundraiser, tailgate, lecture series and participation in San Diego County's Veterans Day Parade.
  • San Francisco State marks the official opening of a new veterans' lounge that will provide student veterans with a place to socialize and meet others.  The lounge includes a quiet study room with computer workstations.
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Football hosts military appreciation day with a BBQ for service members and families, military medley pre-game show, special acknowledgement during the coin toss, announcement of new enlistees and ROTC recognition.
  • CSU San Marcos kicks off the War at Home and Abroad digital archive exploring the impact of war through the memories told by veterans, their families and community members.  The CSUSM Veterans Center hosts its annual Veterans Day celebration and reception.
  • Sonoma State celebrates the 30th anniversary of the SSU Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Grove.  The event includes veteran groups, recognition by prominent public leaders and performances by the Redwood Chordsmen and Country Joe McDonald.