Helping Soldiers Become Scholars
“Serving veterans is part of the history of OU,” says Warrior-Scholar Project Director Nate Ferraro. Indeed, anyone familiar with the university’s roots knows that Oklahoma Memorial Union and the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium were named in honor of those who fought and died in World War I. OU’s Norman campus also features memorials to students, faculty and staff who have died in each of America’s wars.
But many may not know that OU offers a full range of veterans programs that serve as a living tribute and a roadmap for success to the university’s nearly 480 veterans and 1,000 military-affiliated students. In fact, for two years in a row, OU has been named both a “Best for Vets College” by Military Times and in the “Top 10 Best Colleges for Veterans” by USA Today. Here are a few reasons why:
· OU Veteran Support Alliance: This volunteer support group has trained more than 500 faculty and staff members as “Green Zone” allies, providing a safe place for active-duty service members and student veterans to discuss issues and learn about resources. The VSA also sponsors special events for veteran students, faculty and staff and supports the Student Veterans Association.
· OU Student Veterans Association: A student-led organization, the SVA sponsors regular events such as November’s Veterans Recognition and Appreciation Week, the Sooner Salute Graduate Ceremony, and tailgate parties to welcome visiting student veterans. SVA members also sponsor “RED Fridays” encouraging Sooners to wear red and Remember Everyone Deployed.
For a complete list of OU veteran services
· Pat Tillman Foundation University Partner: Based on its veteran-friendly atmosphere, OU was chosen to recruit and submit candidates for the prestigious Tillman Military Scholars Program, which provides veterans and their spouses with educational and living expenses not covered by the GI Bill. Tillman, who died in Afghanistan, gave up an NFL career to serve as a U.S. Army Ranger after 9/11.
· Children of Fallen Patriots Partner: OU is one of only five universities nationwide to partner with this foundation, which provides scholarships and educational counseling to children who have lost a parent in military service.
· Veteran Scholarship Opportunities: Including the Chevron Student Veteran Engineering Scholarship, the Hugh Reynolds Armed Forces Scholarship, the LaVerne Noyes Memorial Scholarship, the Miller Family Scholarship and the Vietnam Memorial Scholarship.