Wabash Joins Yellow Ribbon Initiative
by Howard W. Hewitt
June 24, 2009
Wabash College has joined many other institutions across the country to extend benefits to veterans of the United States armed forces.
“Wabash has always taken pride in providing a diverse student body where students can learn much from one another,” said Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Steve Klein. “Attracting veterans to the Wabash campus can only enrich the dialog inside the classroom and in informal conversations around campus. I expect the experience and insights veterans bring to contribute to the leadership development that is an essential part of the Wabash experience.”
Veterans have long received a base benefit toward tuition after their service to the country. The new program is called the Post 9-11 GI Bill. More than 600 universities and colleges are expected to participate.
“We are pleased with the high level of interest that our institutions have shown in serving student veterans, through the Yellow Ribbon program and other campus aid resources, especially given the economic pressures of the time and the administrative hurdles associated with implementing a major new federal program,” said David L. Warren, President of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
“It is a critical investment in the nation's veterans, and a prime example of how by working as partners, the federal government, colleges and universities, and others can pool critical resources to enhance student access and affordability.”
Wabash will offer up to $6,000 in aid which will be matched by the new program administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. That benefit is in addition to the traditional education support given U.S. veterans.
The College has had a long-standing relationship with the nation’s military veterans.
“We have a history dating back to the Civil War and the great conflicts of the last century,” said Financial Aid Director Clint Gasaway. “Our participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program will allow these courageous students, and other young men who have served along side them, to come back and build on what they have learned while serving their country though this outstanding education opportunity.”
That long-standing history is highlighted by the World War II-era effort of President Frank Sparks. With young men leaving the College to join the service, the campus was left almost empty. Sparks brought to campus the Navy’s V-12 officer training program, which prepared hundreds of young men to serve as officers, while learning the liberal arts.
The College has placed no limits on the number of veterans it will accept under the program.