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CSU Celebrates Student Veteran Success

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(November 9, 2011) - As California State University campuses statewide and the CSU Chancellor’s Office observe Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11, we specifically celebrate the successes of more than 6,000 veteran and active-duty students.  CSU campuses are noted among the nation's most military-friendly.  There are several innovative CSU programs catering to veterans and active-duty personnel that not only provide access to a university education but also are developed to promote success at the university level.

A key to student veteran success at CSU campuses has been the dedication of space for former military and active-duty students to study, socialize, get information and seek advice from mentors.  Today, CSU Channel Islands celebrates the grand opening of its Veterans Resource Center.

Complementing the dedication of space systemwide has been the development of student veteran organizations that provide a peer group and platform for continued service to campus and community.

"The veterans here know they can turn to one another when they are in need," said Alejandro Holguin, president of Sacramento State's Student Veteran Organization in a CSU Voices and Views post.  "We support each other in our educational mission to graduate prepared for the next stage of our lives and careers.  In this mission, every action is critical, every task is important and the people surrounding us are dedicated to our success."

Many campuses and student organizations conduct activities in November and throughout the year that honor and remember our nation's veterans abroad, at home and in the classroom.  Below are a few examples of campus activities.

  • In addition to the Veterans Resource Center Grand Opening, the CSU Channel Islands Veterans Affairs Program will be hosting a weeklong series of events to celebrate Veterans Day Week, including an Interview Techniques workshop as well as a cake cutting ceremony recognizing the Marines 236th anniversary.  The Student Veterans Organization will be volunteering in the Reagan Library Veterans Day event.

  • CSU Dominguez Hills Veteran Student Programs are hosting Veteran Week including a show and tell, a session on units that served in the face of racial discrimination, a session on the realities of combat and a flag ceremony.

  • CSU East Bay will hold a veterans welcome reception in January.  Attendees will learn about veteran benefits and services, as well as well as Cal State East Bay’s student support programs.  They also can be acquainted with current and former members of the military attending classes at the university. 

  • Fresno State Veterans Day celebrations continue throughout the week both with on-campus and off-campus activities involving two student veteran organizations, Air Force and Army ROTCs, marching band and spirit squad.  The Bulldog Marching Band will lead the Fresno Veterans Parade on Nov. 11.  The internationally televised event is the largest Veterans Day parade in the nation.

  • CSU Fullerton honored seven deceased Latino World War II veterans, including two Hall of Fame athletes, a nurse-philanthropist, a civil rights leader, a dancer-choreographer, an actor and a war hero at the 15th annual Veterans Day Celebration at Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 5.  The event was in conjunction with Latino Advocates for Education.

  • Humboldt State University’s Student Veterans Association will inaugurate an annual Veterans Day 5K Run/Walk on Nov. 11 to raise funds for the university’s Office of Veterans Enrollment and Transition Services. 

  • Cal State L.A. held its 2011 Veterans Forum on Nov. 4.  The event addressed issues facing female service members and veterans.  The forum also included student veterans sharing their experiences and struggles in higher education and provided information regarding veterans’ benefits, services and student-supported campus programs.

  • CSU Long Beach will host a ceremony in honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 10.  Once the veterans recognition event is concluded, there will be a birthday cake ceremony in honor of the 236th Marine Corps Birthday.

  • CSU Monterey Bay's Student Veteran Organization became an official campus club in September with the election of officers.

  • On Nov. 10, Sacramento State will celebrate an expanded, refurbished Veterans Success Center.  Additionally, the campus Community Engagement Center’s Sac State Serves program will also honor all senior citizens, including veterans, who depend on the non-profit organization “Meals on Wheels by ACC” by working in the central kitchen preparing and packaging meals. 
  • The Student Veterans Organization at CSU San Bernardino hosted its annual tribute to veterans on Tuesday, Nov. 8, with a program that includes speakers, a drill team performance and a 21-gun salute.  CSUSB’s Recreational Sports department is also  honoring military veterans with a variety of events through Nov. 13.  The Student Recreation and Fitness Center will observe a moment of silence at 11 am on Nov. 11.
  • San Diego State got an early start to Veterans Day when it held its annual War Memorial Ceremony on Oct. 7 as part of Homecoming festivities.  Today, the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center will have pizza and cake in the center's student lounge.  Additionally, the Student Veterans Organization – which recently celebrated its five-year anniversary – will participate in San Diego's Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11.
  • Today, San Francisco State celebrates the one-year anniversary of its Veterans Services Center.  Various departments and groups that offer services to veterans are holding an informational fair, including a table staffed by veteran students, "Ask a Vet."
  • San José State University's Warriors at Home course eases the transition from military service to civilian life.  The program addresses relationship building and other critical needs.  On Nov. 2, the campus held a speaker series covering many of the same transition topics.
  • The CSU San Marcos Veterans Center, in cooperation with the Student Veterans Organization, will host its annual Veterans Day celebration on Nov. 10 recognizing and honoring our nation’s veterans.  A color guard, comprised of CSUSM students, will present the colors followed by a special keynote address.

  • Sonoma State is showing its appreciation for veterans with a number of free or discounted items, services and campus activities throughout the week.

  • CSU Stanislaus Troops to College Committee and Veterans Affairs Office are hosting the third annual “Thank a Veteran” event, on Nov. 10, featuring a posting of the colors event and reception open to public.  Participants will sign cards for those currently serving in harm's way.

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