SUNY Canton was recently recognized as a military-friendly campus for the second year in a row.
The College was among only 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools throughout the country to be recognized as a 2012 Military Friendly School, announced by G.I. Jobs on Monday. The list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students.
“This is further proof that the hard work of many on our campus to assure the college continued with this designation has paid off,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “We have known for a long time that we are a military friendly campus that serves the needs of those within that community. We are honored to know that others recognize our commitment to serving those that serve and their families.”
In support of the educational goals of the military community, SUNY Canton has had a Veterans Study Lounge on campus for several years. The College’s counseling staff receives regular Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) training and a Veteran’s Day ceremony is hosted on campus each year.
SUNY Canton also recently started a fast-paced powersports performance and repair course to recently deployed U.S. Army soldiers at Fort Drum. The course is convenient for soldiers as it’s held on base.
Robert L. Edwards, who serves as the director of service member learning opportunities, and Associate Professor of Criminal Investigation William J. Fassinger, retired Army 1st Sergeant in the Military Police Corps, organized the SUNY Canton Veterans Association.
“The organization of the students was the basis to bring the other efforts of the campus into focus and has resulted in a solid support peer support network,” Fassinger said. “It has also raised the profile of the military community on campus. Students from the Association have presented the colors at the last three commencements, a tradition the College will continue. They also have organized a Veterans Day ceremony that has grown from a handful of participants to more than 500 students, faculty, staff, and friends.”
Edwards noted that receiving this designation for the second straight year confirms the dedication and efforts from every corner of the College community. “It is much different from my experience in college where no one talked about their service and preferred that it was not known,” he said. “More than 150 active duty service members, veterans, as well as their spouses and children were enrolled at the College last year. We have become a place that is trusted to serve our military and their families. In the coming weeks the college will enhance the commitment by hiring a Military and Veterans Service Coordinator followed by two work study students supporting that office.”
In 2008, SUNY Canton demonstrated the importance of the College’s veterans to its graduating class. In 1943, twenty-seven students were called into service just weeks before their commencement. The veterans, who have come to be known as SUNY Canton’s Greatest Graduates, left to serve the country in World War II. In a heartfelt and emotional ceremony, President Kennedy presented four members of the class and a spouse of a deceased veteran with honorary certificates in their respective programs. Those veterans who could not attend the ceremony were honored for their sacrifice, some of them posthumously.
G.I. Jobs is published by Victory Media, a veteran-owned business. The 2012 list was compiled through extensive research and a data driven survey of more than 8,000 schools nationwide. In its effort to help student veterans find the right school, G.I. Jobs incorporated a survey of student veterans for the first time to assist in its evaluation of institutions.
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