Posted August 7, 2013

New program helps veteran-students transition to Temple

Ryan S. Brandenberg
Temple University President Neil D. Theobald welcomes new student-veterans at a July 25 event in the Howard Gittis Student Center.

Temple recently welcomed new students who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces at the first annual Veterans’ Welcome Program, held July 25 in the Howard Gittis Student Center, on Main Campus.

Laura Reddick, associate director for adult and veteran student recruitment, was joined by President Neil D. Theobald in offering welcoming remarks to newly admitted veteran students.

Reddick developed the program in order to give students an opportunity to discuss a range of topics, including VA benefits, the benefits certification process and educational financing.

“I saw that many of our veteran students come to Temple and don’t know how to navigate their way through the university — they don’t know what resources are here,” said Reddick. “Many know how to apply for their benefits or even what they want to major in. The program was designed to answer all and any questions.”

For its proactive outreach to veterans, Temple has recognized for the past four years as a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs Magazine. Compiled through research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 schools nationwide, the list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that do the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and to ensure their success on campus.

Veterans enrolled at Temple benefit from the university’s participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which allows veterans who are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill to apply for educational benefits such as full tuition support and stipends for housing and books. Since its introduction in 2009, the bill has increased the number of student veterans on campuses nationwide.

“Temple is so far ahead of many colleges because of the support that we have from top management — from the president to our provost,” said Reddick. “I stepped into this position in October 2010 when we had less than 200 veteran-students at the university. Now, Temple has over 700 veteran students in such a short time.”

Temple Veterans Association’s President Silas Adams is one of many veteran students who has made the university home. The sophomore finance and risk major served eight years on active duty in the Marine Corps with deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan before coming to Temple.

“My experience at Temple has been smooth and refreshing,” said Adams. “The staff here makes an excellent environment for veterans to thrive and grow both professionally and academically. It is a good suitable environment for any veteran who wants to begin or return to school.”

The Office of Veteran Affairs has organized the University Veterans Task Force Committee to plan and implement programs that provide educational and social events to help Temple veterans students succeed at the university.

“Our veteran students are well-deserving of having the very best,” said Reddick. “They have made so many sacrifices for us. I’m really pleased to be a part of this whole university initiative to make sure that our veteran students get the best services we can offer them.”