BIG RAPIDS – Making its mark in the mission to provide education for all, the Ferris State University Veterans Association has been striving to secure one of the nation’s most valuable assets at the collegiate level. And with the acceptance of a nationally recognized award, spectators can see that they are well on their way.
A registered student organization, the Ferris State University Veterans Association is dedicated to advocating for American Veterans who are both beginning and continuing their education at Ferris.
Committed to ensuring that their educational needs are met and that their transition to college is as seamless as possible, the organization seeks to be an outlet through which a series of services can be offered to veterans on campus.
“Our focus is to help veterans transition from military life to college life as best as they can,” explained association Treasurer and serviceman Christopher Conger.
A recent participant in a conference hosted by their parent organization, Student Veterans of America, the group was recognized for their efforts and awarded the “2010 Best Chapter in the Midwest” out of 63 organizations in a 10-state region.
While groups like this have roots stretching as far back as the 1950s, this organization is relatively new at Ferris but has had quite an impact. Encompassing Ferris’ goal of being veteran-friendly, this organization not only demonstrates the University’s willingness to empathize with the plight of the returning service member but to also be stirred to action by it.
Between this and an elevated level of campus activity in the form of service projects, hosting and creating a range and number of programs, and embodying Student Veterans of America branding and ideals, the FSU Veterans Association was able to receive this regional award.
“Ferris’ chapter has been doing some great things over the past year,” stated Midwest Student Veterans of America Director Gerald Kapinos.
“There are a lot of services and resources that Ferris provides for student veterans to help them as they seek their degree – Ferris has even created scholarships specifically for them,” FSU Veterans Association President Mike Milford added. “The university just wants to help them transition back into their classes and this style of life.”
“As a senior member of the group, Milford and I have been through the struggles and obstacles that the younger members can face when they come here,” Conger concluded. “Subsequently, we know what to do, where to go, who to ask for help, and how to help those individuals who don’t know these things. Veterans will always help other veterans, but Ferris is willing to help, too. It’s very encouraging to see that Ferris cares about vets the way that it does.”