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.
Health fairs cover contemporary teenage topics
Berea Community High School health students coordinated their first all-day health fair in November that was catered to elementary students.
But their spring fair Monday handled more mature issues that targeted the middle and high school crowd, said health teacher Cathy Jones.
Regents approve smoke-free campus policy
The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents on Monday approved a tobacco-free campus policy and set 2014-15 rates for tuition, housing and meal plans.
Effective June 1, the use of tobacco on all property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the university will be prohibited.
EKU Dance Theatre tonight
Performances are 8 p.m. tonight, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building.
Tickets are available at the Whitlock Building ticket window or by calling 622-2171 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.
Tickets are $5 for students, $10 general admission and free for children under the age of 12. Tickets also may be purchased at the door.
This semester’s concert offers a variety of dance forms including modern/contemporary, hip hop, Middle Eastern, musical theater and Latin jazz.
Pinwheels for prevention
Madison Central High School CIA, or Central in Action club, placed 473 silver and blue pinwheels in the flower beds in front of the school, each representing a substantiated child abuse case reported in Madison County in 2013 to show support for Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Tibetan monks provide week of cultural experiences
Berea College has had a special relationship with the Tibetan government-in-exile dating back to the 1990s. That is when the late John Stephenson, then Berea’s president, befriended the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, according to Jeff Richey, chair of Asian Studies at the college.
Open for learning
While some may not have known all of the words or the exact notes to sing, parents and children in the Red Cedar Learning Cooperative enjoyed an afternoon jam session together Tuesday, complete with guitars, a ukulele, drums and a harmonica.
‘The Mighty Casey’
Show times for the 19th-century poem turned opera, “The Mighty Casey,” are 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday in the Black Box Theatre of the EKU Center for the Arts.
It is presented by the Eastern Kentucky University music department’s Opera Workshop and the EKU Opera Guild, a student organization.
Opera-goers will have seats right behind the pitcher’s mound as the story of the Mudville Nine and its star player, “the Mighty Casey,” unfolds.
While living in a “sad little run-down town,” Mudville townspeople rally around their baseball hero to lift their spirits, said director and music professor Joyce Wolf.
Science building ground breaking planned for summer
A $66.3 million appropriation in the new state budget will fully fund completion of Eastern Kentucky University’s New Science Building, according to EKU President Michael Benson.
A summer ground breaking ceremony is planned for the project, he said.
Although the building’s $64 million first phase began use in January 2012, completion has awaited funding until now.
Eastern Kentucky University Dance Theatre - Spring concert set April 9-12
The Eastern Kentucky University Dance Theatre will present its spring concert Wednesday, April 9, though Saturday, April 12, in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building
Performances will be 8 p.m. April 9-12 with an additional 2 p.m. Saturday show.
Scholarship available to those providing early childhood education
Kentucky’s child care providers and those who train child care providers may be eligible for the Early Childhood Development Scholarship to further their college education.
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