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BW support for veteran, military students earns Ohio Collegiate Purple Star Award

BW Ohio Collegiate Purple Star logoBaldwin Wallace University is among the first class of public and independent colleges and universities to receive Ohio's new Collegiate Purple Star award, and Ohio is the first state in the nation to adopt the designation.

As one of 33 Purple Star recipients announced today in Columbus, BW is recognized as "supportive and inclusive of military-connected students."

"Baldwin Wallace has long provided a supportive learning environment for veterans, as well as a student veterans organization that promotes camaraderie with other service members," Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) Chancellor Randy Gardner said. "Now BW can add 'Collegiate Purple Star campus' to its list of accolades."

Adapting to meet the need

Michael G. Brown ‘18, BW manager of veterans and military services, outside BW's All-Star Student Veterans CenterMichael Brown '18, a BW graduate, veteran and manager of BW veteran and military services, says the Purple Star recognition comes as BW is serving a broader need for military family support, in addition to the veterans themselves.

"Our goal is always to find new ways to ensure a successful transition from the military to higher education and into civilian life," Brown says. "That requires flexibility and the ability to adapt and develop unique approaches to serve the entire military community as the need evolves."

Transferring VA education benefits

One growing trend, Brown notes, is an increase in veterans/reservists who have served long enough to be eligible to transfer their VA benefits to their children or spouses.

"Navigating that lesser-known process can prove difficult and knowing you have someone who can help talk you through each step makes coming to BW that much easier," Brown says. "That's just one of the ways BW continues to adapt and grow our support system."

In addition to the increase in military dependents on campus, Nancy Jirousek, senior director of BW Transfer and Military Services, notes a rise in veterans enrolled in graduate programs.

"BW resources are available to support academic success, career readiness, community engagement and more, based on the needs of the student veterans and military families," Jirousek explains. "We are focused on staying ready to pivot to meet changing dynamics as they come."

Leader in veteran/military support

Military Friendly gold badgeRecognized by U.S. News as one of America's Best Regional Colleges and Best for Veterans and by GI Jobs magazine as Gold Military Friendly, BW has a deep history of supporting the military, beginning in the 1940s when veterans were the original "non-traditional" students.

Jirousek says the latest honors for BW "demonstrate our long-standing commitment to supporting veterans and military families."

"Any recognition by an outside body - the state of Ohio, U.S. News & World Report, Victory Media - validates the work that is being done at BW to ensure veterans and military family members get the support needed to be successful here," she continued.

Yellow Ribbon, course waivers and more

Included in that support, BW is a proud participant in the Yellow Ribbon program and grants generous transfer credit for military training and experience, including a waiver of the international studies core requirement based on deployment or overseas duty.

For members of the National Guard and Reserve forces, BW has developed support for students who are called to active duty during the academic year.

The University also has an active chapter of the Student Veterans of America that promotes social interaction with fellow service members, as well as an All-Star Student Veterans Center that opened in 2019 with funding from Major League Baseball.

Learn more about BW support for veterans and military students.

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