In sports, it might be called a dynasty in the making.
Eastern Kentucky University, home to more than 1,200 veterans and their dependents, has earned its second No. 1 national ranking from Military Times EDGE magazine in its annual “Best for Vets: Colleges” issue.
The magazine rates four-year colleges and universities on their commitment to helping military veterans further their education.
The win follows a No. 1 ranking two years ago and a No. 2 ranking last year from the magazine, which considers institutions’ programs, services and policies that support veterans as well as their accreditations. The complete story and rankings can be viewed at militarytimes.com.
The news prompted Lt. Col. Allen Back (USAR), director of EKU’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, to recall the words of an American literary giant.
“As Mark Twain once stated, ‘History doesn’t necessarily repeat itself, but it does rhyme,’” Back said. “Achieving this number-one ranking for a second time in three years demonstrates EKU’s commitment to our nation’s veterans … and provides the recognition so richly deserved that EKU is sincere about veteran success.”
Pointing to a “long tradition at EKU that honors and values military service,” Back said Eastern “continues to be a school of choice among military and veteran students.”
Other national honors in recent years further validate the university’s reputation among veterans, EKU President Doug Whitlock said.
Eastern has been recognized by G.I. Jobs as a Military Friendly School each of the past four years and this year was named a Pat Tillman Military Scholar Partnership University, one of only 14 in the nation. Andrew Napier, an EKU senior from Richmond, was one of only 59 Tillman Military Scholars nationwide.
Also this year, EKU was named a VetSuccess University by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and now boasts a full-time employee on staff to help veterans with their benefits issues.
In 2010, Eastern launched Operation Veteran Success, a series of initiatives designed to make the university even more veteran-helpful. These initiatives include:
• No admission fees for undergraduate veterans
• In-state tuition for all out-of-state veterans nationwide
• Maximum credit hours for military experience
• Priority registration
• Book vouchers and Books for Boots Exchange Library
• Veterans Bridge to College Success cohort classes
• Veterans orientation course
• Veteran-helpful withdrawal and readmission policy
• Vet-2-Vet sponsorship program and active Vets Club
• Recreational and other extracurricular activities
• Specially designated housing for student veterans.
Veteran Studies minor, believed to be the nation’s first, to help those who haven’t served in the military to better understand the issues that veterans face, and to help the veterans themselves deal with those issues.
EKU also is home to The Journal of Military Experience, the first volume of which won one of 14 Phi Kappa Phi national literacy grants and “Program of the Year” honors from Student Veterans of America for providing EKU veterans with a voice in 2011. The second volume, published this year, provides the same service to veterans nationwide and includes the scholarship of researchers interested in bridging the gap between civilian and military cultures.
As more and more troops return from Iraq and Afghanistan, EKU has more than doubled its number of military veterans and dependents in recent years. Many are pursuing baccalaureate degrees in criminal justice, police studies, homeland security, fire and safety, and nursing, or a graduate degree in safety, security and emergency management.
This fall, the EKU Military and Veterans Affairs Office moved to a new location, 317 Lancaster Ave., a converted home adjacent to Irvine-McDowell Park. Kim Dickey, a full-time campus-based VA employee, is also available to help veterans with their benefits issues. For more information about opportunities and services available to veterans and their dependents at EKU, visit va.eku.edu or call 622-2345.
In sports, it might be called a dynasty in the making.
YMCA, county district to provide after-school care
The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.
Young inventors turn trash to treasure
The first day of Camp Invention began with a room full of objects ready to be recycled, Sarah Shaffer, director of the camp said Thursday.
Band students ‛take over’ MCHS campus
The Madison Central High School campus has been “taken over” for two weeks by 170 students attending band camp.
Campers learn hazards of the ‛wild’
Fifteen “Child vs. Wild” campers crowded around a plate full of gooey marshmallows, freshly toasted by camp leaders on a St. Mark Catholic School stovetop Monday.
MCHS, Caudill win world archery titles
Caudill Middle School and Madison Central High School won their divisions in the National Archery in Schools Program World Championships in Madison, Wisc. this past weekend
The win is a third consecutive title for Caudill Middle School and a first for MCHS.
Eversole returns to White Hall as principal
The White Hall Elementary School-based Decision-making Council has selected Monica Eversole as the school’s new principal.
Eversole was serving as guidance counselor at Lexington’s Dixie Magnet Elementary School.
School board to save $53,000 yearly by refinancing bonds
The Madison County School Board authorized issuance of almost $10.5 million in school building revenue bonds at its monthly meeting Thursday.
The board approved a recommendation from the Madison County School District Finance Corporation to issue slightly more than $10.49 million in bonds to help finance renovation projects at three district elementary schools.
Madison Kindergarten Academy at Mayfield
The kindergarten center that will serve the county’s four Richmond elementary schools will be known as the Madison Kindergarten Academy at Mayfield.
The Madison County School Board at its monthly meeting Thursday night chose the name for the all-kindergarten academy that will be housed in the former Mayfield Elementary School.
Naming of kindergarten academy on school board agenda
Naming of the new kindergarten academy to be housed in the former Mayfield Elementary School building is on the Madison County School Board’s agenda Thursday evening.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Madison Central High School lecture lab.
Bluegrass Christian School closes
Bluegrass Christian School did not get enough enrollment contracts by June 30, and its board of directors has decided to cease operations.
The school will be dissolved Aug. 1., according to a Tuesday statement from the six-member board.
Families may pick up transcripts, records and prepaid tuition or application fees the week of July 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the statement added.
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- YMCA, county district to provide after-school care