Veterans Center opens at Alvernia


Above: Trustee Carl Anderson talks about the new Veterans Center with student-Veteran Erika Cheveres.

Alvernia University officially opened and blessed an important new space for Veteran-students in Bernardine Hall this week.

"The Alvernia Veterans Center will not just be a meeting or gathering spot for Veterans, students on active or reserve military duty and their friends, but it will also be a resource center and a hub of activities and programs," said President Tom Flynn.

Announced in April, the center will be staffed by work-study students, Veterans Club volunteers, and the university's new Veterans Advocate, Captain Curt Stevens. Retired from the US Navy, Capt. Stevens is currently pursuing a doctorate in leadership from Alvernia. As the Veterans Advocate, he will coordinate the ongoing work of Alvernia's Veterans Success Team, uniting efforts from Admissions to Student Financial Planning to Health Services. 

Photo: Ribbon Cutting

President Flynn and Trustee Carl Anderson cut the ribbon held by Col. Deborah Geiger '83 and student-Veteran Brian Johnson.

"This center is well timed, as our growing student veteran population has risen significantly in the past few years," said Flynn. "This impressive growth is a tribute in part to the excellent services already available and to the spirit of care embodied in the Franciscan ideal of “knowledge joined with love.'”
The Veterans Services initiative was shaped by Alvernia staff members Shanna Bossler, Jason Deitz and Claire Murphy, with the help of an Alvernia Innovation Grant. Veteran and Alvernia Trustee Carl Anderson, along with his wife Debbie, provided a two-year start-up fund to help launch the center immediately.

"As begun by the good Sisters two generations ago, we have a longstanding, core commitment to educate those in special need of the opportunity for a private, valued-based education," said Flynn. "These men and women are worthy of our support and encouragement as they pursue productive lives of professional success and persona meaning. We are proud to help our Veterans to 'do well and do good.'"

A member of the Yellow Ribbon Program, Alvernia has been named one of the top 15% Military Friendly Schools in the U.S. The university's Veteran population has increased 40% since 2008.

The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-911 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (GI Bill) that provides payments for tuition and fees, as well as a book and supplies stipend, and a housing allowance for veterans who have served on active duty since September 11, 2001. Alvernia University matches agreements with the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) to pay veterans' tuition and fee costs above those covered by the GI Bill Benefit.

Photo: Vet Center

Capt. Curt Stevens, Ed Hartung, Claire Murphy, Jason Deitz and Shanna Bossler in front of the Veterans Center window.

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