Dear Alumni and Friends,
The approach of Veterans Day is a good reminder of the University of Colorado's commitment to serving those who have served our country. Simply put, our campuses are better places for the presence of veterans and military-connected students, families, faculty and staff. And we work hard to ensure we are as committed to them as they are to our country.
Each of our campuses has a significant population of veterans among student bodies (more than 4,000 across CU, nearly 8 percent of our students). Each campus also offers robust student services to veterans and their families.
Diversity is one of the university's core values, but we most often think of it in terms of ethnic or racial diversity, or diversity of thought. Yet diversity of students' experiences is also important. Veterans bring to our campuses a set of experiences that enrich the educational experience for all. They are often older, more well-traveled and usually have relevant experience in fields such as engineering, aerospace, physiology and international studies.
Our campuses recognize how those diverse experiences enrich the learning environment and have been active in supporting veterans. The CU-BoulderOffice of Veteran Services provides a one-stop shop for veterans transitioning to the campus, those taking classes, and graduates moving into the working world. The office has doubled its staff in the past three years to meet demand.
The Office of Veteran Student Services at CU Denver and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus offers the innovative Veteran Student Organization, a tight-knit community of veteran students that provides one-on-one support. It's the largest student club on campus and the largest student veteran organization in Colorado. Additionally, Boots to Suits is an acclaimed program that helps veteran students transition from college to careers and is an exemplary effort.
At our Colorado Springs campus, where the student body comprises nearly 20 percent veterans, we have long had a focus on veteran students and partnerships with the many military facilities in the region. UCCS offers extended studies classes at nearby Fort Carson and Peterson Air Force Base. It also provides graduate programs for students, faculty and staff at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The ROTC programs on our Colorado Springs and Boulder campuses have both been awarded the prestigious MacArthur Award, which annually recognizes the top eight ROTC programs from among 275 programs nationwide. CU Denver also has a robust ROTC program that serves students well.
Our efforts are consistently cited by GI Jobs magazine, which in recent years has named all our campuses as Military Friendly Schools. The designation recognizes the top 20 percent of colleges and universities nationally that provide exceptional services to veterans.
CU donors, recognizing our success, are stepping up to provide support. The Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation recently contributed $1 million to fund the Heroes Clinic, which offers free dental services to veterans enrolled at CU Denver and CU Anschutz. At UCCS, CU alumnus Clancy Herbst provided funding to expand the Office of Veteran and Student Military Affairs, allowing it to move from a small former private home on the east edge of campus to an expanded and remodeled facility on the central part of campus.
Our veterans have provided selfless service to our country. It's fitting that CU in turn offers them the kind of services and support that help them succeed on our campuses and beyond. We're proud of what they have done, and proud to be able to do our part for them.
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