Because of Western Illinois University’s long-time support of veterans and active service personnel, the University has been recognized for 14 years running as a “Military Friendly School” by Viqtory/Military Friendly, achieving “Gold” status for 2023-2024. Western ranked 19th in the United States for small public universities earning the Gold status.
“WIU remains dedicated to serving our veterans and active duty personnel and has since the early 1900s,” said WIU President Guiyou Huang. “Receiving recognition from Viqtory/Military Friendly affirms WIU’s commitment to our heroic students who every day prove bravery and sacrifice.”
The University’s Wright Residence, donated by the family of a WWII veteran, serves as the Veterans Resource Center, and provides streamlined services and resources in a centralized location to ensure all veterans, guard members, reservists and active duty personnel and their families receive individual assistance. The center also features computer access, a study/meeting room, a three-season porch and student-veteran peer assistants who work with student-veterans. Students gain direct access to a comprehensive array of services, such as VA benefits, financial assistance, disability resources, health care, career development and personal wellness there.
“We are so pleased to continue to be recognized for our services and support there,” said Ronald Pettigrew, Veterans Resource Center director. “Beyond those within the Veteran Resource Center, our success here is not just based though on our center, but multiple other individuals and departments across campus.
In addition to special military-friendly admission policies, guaranteed credit for military training, and special scholarships and financial assistance, our center has established partnerships with various campus and community organizations.”
WIU has over 30 faculty, staff, and administrators who dedicate significant paid and non-paid time and talent to support the initiatives of the Veterans Resource Center through the Military Friendly Credentialing Program (wiu.edu/student_success/veterans/militaryFriendlyCredentialingProgram).
The center also sponsors a series of group seminars and workshops each year based on the needs of its military and veteran student population and larger campus community. During this 2022-2023 academic year, more than 15 opportunities are/ have been available through the Military Friendly Credentialing Program, coordinated by WIU Associate Professor Jeremy Robinett, in partnership with the VRC. The MFCP provides opportunities for faculty, staff, administrators, or BOT members to learn ways to support military service students and has seen tremendous growth in participation. It should be noted that in May more credentials will be presented than in any of the previous years.
For more information about veterans’ resources at Western Illinois University, contact Pettigrew at [email protected] or (309) 298-3505.
***Courtesy of Western Illinois University***