UW-Green Bay held a solemn and meaningful Veterans Day event Tuesday (Nov. 11), welcoming campus and community for the annual Chancellor’s Veteran Reception in the Union’s Phoenix Room. Chancellor Gary L. Miller welcomed attendees on behalf of himself and wife Georgia, also in attendance, expressing his gratitude for the service of veterans from all branches of the U.S. military. UW-Green Bay student Major Gena Selby offered the event’s keynote remarks, noting both the sacrifices of deployed service personnel and those of their support systems back home. “Each of you has these stories of separation,” she said, “I am forever grateful that my support network made my service possible.” Story and photos.
The UW-Green Bay community celebrated and remembered campus and community military veterans Nov. 11, honoring them with the annual Chancellor’s Veteran Reception in the Phoenix Rooms of the University Union.
The UW-Green Bay Veterans Day tradition honors past and present service members from all branches of the U.S. military, and specifically recognizes UW-Green Bay students who have returned to school to obtain their degrees.
“This is indeed a great honor as an American, and as someone who has benefited from the veterans in this room,” Chancellor Gary L. Miller said, offering welcome remarks on behalf of himself and wife Georgia, also in attendance. “We are so grateful for your presence today.”
UW-Green Bay student Major Gena Selby offered keynote remarks for the event, noting not just the sacrifices of veterans, but also of their support systems back home. She recalled not being there for her mother’s surgery due to a deployment to Iraq, and missing her grandfather’s funeral due to serving in Afghanistan. What got her through, Selby said, was the unwavering support of friends and family.
“Each of you has these stories of separation,” she told the veterans in attendance. “I am forever grateful that my support network made my service possible.”
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– Photos by Eric Miller, photographer, Office of Marketing and University Communication
UW-Green Bay veteran services adviser Elaina Koltz and two members of the Vets 4 Vets student organization got some airtime Tuesday (Nov. 11) morning, appearing on two local news shows to promote today’s Chancellor’s Veteran Reception and related activities. Koltz got up extra early to appear on the NBC 26 Today morning program, and she was joined later on by students Terry Spangler and Jared Spude for two segments on Local 5 Live. As a reminder, the Chancellor’s Veteran Reception takes place from 4-6 p.m. today in the Union’s Phoenix Room, and is free and open to the public. You can watch all three of this morning’s segments, listed here in chronological order, by clicking the links:
NBC 26 Today
Local 5 Live
Local 5 Live, Part 2
The Local 5 Live morning show will air two live segments from campus Tuesday (Nov. 11), previewing that day’s Chancellor’s Veteran Reception and the associated Veterans Week activities. Veteran services adviser Elaina Koltz will be featured in a segment that airs at approximately 9:20 a.m., while student Vets 4 Vets club members Terry Spranger and Jared Spude will be interviewed during the second segment, at about 9:45. Tune in to WFRV, Channel 5, or catch the segments on the Local 5 Live website after the fact. For more information about the Chancellor’s Veteran Reception, which is free and open to the public, check out our news release.
UW-Green Bay will host its annual Chancellor’s Veteran Reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, welcoming campus and community to honor all who have served. This year’s event will feature UW-Green Bay student Major Gena Selby, who will speak about her experiences as commander of C Company in the Ashwaubenon-based 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion. Chancellor Gary L. Miller also will speak, and he and Selby will present certificates of appreciation to student military members who are present.
Later in the week, campus and community veterans can attend a veteran services open house (2-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13 in MAC 124), and attend the Phoenix men’s basketball game at no cost during Veteran Appreciation Day (3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Resch Center). Our news release has further details.
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will kick off a week of events celebrating campus and community veterans with the annual Chancellor’s Veteran Reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11 in Phoenix Room B of the University Union on campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive.
The annual Veterans Day event is held to recognize all campus and community veterans, as well as individuals currently serving in the military. This year’s reception will feature UW-Green Bay student Major Gena Selby, who will speak about her experiences as commander of C Company in the Ashwaubenon-based 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion. Selby is working toward her second bachelor’s degree at UW-Green Bay, majoring in Art and Arts Management. Chancellor Gary L. Miller also will speak, and he and Selby will present certificates of appreciation to student members of the military who are present. Refreshments and a social will follow.
“The annual Chancellor’s Veteran Reception allows us to pause and remember the contributions and sacrifices of those who have served,” said Elaina Koltz, UW-Green Bay veteran services adviser. “This event offers the chance to express, in a very real and meaningful way, the gratitude we feel year-round.”
UW-Green Bay has 368 individuals receiving veteran benefits, including 108 dependent spouses and children. That number is expected to increase to more than 400 by the end of the academic year, Koltz said. Twenty of those receiving benefits are currently in the National Guard and Reserve. UW-Green Bay’s Vets 4 Vets student club has about 15 active members.
For six years running, UW-Green Bay has been named a Military Friendly School, an honor bestowed by Victory Media Inc. that recognizes the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that do the most to embrace military service members and spouses as students, and to ensure their success on campus. Last winter, the University dedicated the At Ease Veteran and Service Member Lounge in Mary Ann Cofrin (MAC) Hall.
Additional veterans week events are as follows:
Veteran Open House, 2-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, At Ease Veteran and Service Member Student Lounge, MAC Hall 124. Attendees can visit with local veteran services representatives from the Wisconsin Job Center, Green Bay Vet Center, Green Bay VA Health Care Center, Brown County Veterans Service Office and Green Bay Center for Veteran Issues. Refreshments will be served.
Veteran Appreciation Day, 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, Resch Center, Green Bay. UW-Green Bay Athletics invites all veterans in the community to attend the Phoenix men’s basketball game at no cost. There will be a special recognition of those in the community who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will celebrate a brand-new space for student veterans with a dedication event at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14.
The “At Ease: Veteran & Service Member Student Lounge” recently has opened in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall, Room 124, as a space for veterans to gather for support, socialization, studying and more. Veteran Services Adviser Elaina Koltz announced formation of the new center Nov. 11 during the Chancellor’s Veteran Reception on campus.
“Our new veteran center will help build camaraderie among the veterans and service members here on campus, facilitating and enhancing a much-needed network of support for these students,” Koltz said. “Providing this space is one way for us to acknowledge their experience, which often differs from that of nonmilitary students — and also to thank them for their service.”
UW-Green Bay created the center due in part to the grassroots efforts of student veterans, who said it is important for them to have their own space on campus. Student vet Ken Corry of the Vets 4 Vets student organization, who will speak during Friday’s dedication, spearheaded the efforts. Chancellor Tom Harden also will speak during the dedication event.
Creation of the new veteran center is just one way in which UW-Green Bay has ramped up efforts to serve student veterans in recent years. The November Chancellor’s Veteran Reception kicked off an entire week of events including an awareness walk, volunteer organization panel, military speaker, veteran picnic and more. UW-Green Bay graduate student Mike Crum led a collection drive for homeless veterans, and members of the UW-Green Bay community wore military-insignia apparel to show support for military members and veterans.
UW-Green Bay has more than 400 individuals receiving veteran benefits, including 302 veterans and service members, as well as more than 110 dependents. In fall 2013, UW-Green Bay was named a Military Friendly School for the fifth consecutive year, an honor bestowed by Victory Media Inc. that recognizes the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that do the most to embrace military service members, veterans and spouses as students, and to ensure their success on campus.
More information about Veteran Services at UW-Green Bay is available at www.uwgb.edu/veterans/.
The newly expanded Veterans Week is continuing at UW-Green Bay, with Thursday’s guest speaker and Friday’s picnic still on tap. As we told you here previously, the week’s events kicked off Monday (Nov. 11) with the Chancellor’s Veteran Reception — we’ve got a story, photos and local news coverage from that event, below. Tuesday (Nov. 12), the University and its Vets 4 Vets Club hosted a Community Veteran Volunteer Organizations Round Robin, in which area orgs presented information and answered questions for campus and community service members. The 5K Veteran Awareness walk/run was to take place on the Cofrin Arboretum Trail this morning.
Veterans reception story, photo gallery
WFRV, Channel 5 story / Local 5 Live segment and segment, Part 2
UW-Green Bay press release on week’s events
The UW-Green Bay and larger community joined forces Monday (Nov. 11) to pay tribute to military service members past and present.
Close to 100 people attended the annual Chancellor’s Veteran Reception, a heartfelt and solemn yet celebratory event that honors campus and community vets. Marine veteran and UW-Green Bay Chancellor’s Council of Trustees Chairman Lou LeCalsey offered special remarks at the event, standing in this year for UW-Green Bay Chancellor Tom Harden.
“I know that Veterans Day is meant to recognize all who have served,” LeCalsey said, “and Memorial Day is meant to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. And yet there’s still a poignancy in Veterans Day.”
LeCalsey expressed a “special personal pride” in being part of UW-Green Bay’s celebration of veterans, and told the student service members present that their military experience and the characteristics it fosters will give them an edge after they leave the University. He took time to honor WWII Marine veteran Claude Bohn, the most senior vet present at the reception — and to lead event attendees in singing “Happy Birthday” to Bohn, who’d turned 89 the day before.
The event was emceed by UW-Green Bay Veteran Services Adviser Elaina Koltz, a U.S. Army veteran who received a 2013 UW-Green Bay Founders Association Award for her work with student vets. UW-Green Bay recently was named a “military friendly school,” an honor bestowed upon just 15 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities, for the fifth consecutive year. UW-Green Bay has 350 individuals receiving veteran benefits, including 242 veterans and service members, as well as dependents. That number is expected to increase to more than 400 by early next year, Koltz said.
In introducing student veterans, each of whom received a certificate of appreciation, Koltz noted that some have been deployed — and had their educations interrupted — as many as three times. And yet the students and alumni present — two of whom spoke about their success stories — have persevered, Koltz said.
Fernando Chavarria, a 2012 UW-Green Bay Communication grad and a married father of two, now works at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain, Mich., advocating for veterans as a peer support specialist. But as he told reception attendees, a 2005 deployment to Iraq took its toll, leading Chavarria to “become a heavy drinker” who was “quick to fight” upon his return. His wake-up call came in the form of a car accident — his second DUI — that left him in the hospital and caused him to reexamine his life and his relationships. Chavarria cleaned up, finished school and is doing something he loves.
“Success does not come without scars — it’s the price we pay to stand here today,” he told the audience. “There is no greater support to a veteran than that of another veteran.”
For December 2011 UW-Green Bay graduate Sandra Meyer, supporting fellow veterans also has become a way of life. A U.S. Army Reservist who deployed to Iraq in 2007, Meyer served as a mental health specialist — learning a lot about leadership, and about herself, along the way. She now works as a veterans employment specialist at the Center for Veterans Issues, and told attendees their service will be of value in navigating their career path.
“The right employer,” Meyer said, “will see you for the talented veteran that you are.”
To help those talented veterans finance their education, UW-Green Bay offers three scholarships just for vets. Koltz introduced the most recent recipients of the Joel Halverson, John Dederich and Craig and Karen Dickman veterans scholarships, telling the story of each award and personally welcoming the Dickmans, who were in attendance.
Toward the end of the reception, Koltz unveiled a surprise for the student veterans present — and especially Vets 4 Vets Club president Ken Corry. In large part because of Corry’s advocacy and drive, UW-Green Bay will open a Military and Veteran Support Center on campus, likely in spring 2014. The room will be located in MAC Hall.
The Chancellor’s Veteran Reception kicked off an entire week of UW-Green Bay events designed to honor and provide information and services for campus and community veterans (more information is available here).
Monday’s event concluded solemnly, reverently, with the playing of “Taps.”
As we told you here recently, today’s Chancellor’s Veteran Reception kicks off an entire week of UW-Green Bay activities designed to honor and thank those who serve and those who have served. Today’s event begins at 4 p.m. in the Phoenix Room, with campus and community alike welcome to join in thanking members of the armed services. This morning, Local 5 Live previewed the event — and all the week’s activities — during two live interview segments in the 9 a.m. hour. Veteran Services Adviser (and recent UW-Green Bay Founders Award winner) Elaina Koltz and Vets 4 Vets student club members Ken Corry and Terry Spanger spoke about what’s on tap as well as the ways in which the University welcomes and works with student veterans. You can check out the segments, as well as our original release about what’s happening this week, by clicking the links:
TV-Local Five Live
TV-Local Five Live (Part 2)
UW-Green Bay News