Eric Watson ’91 wasn’t envisioning himself as a U.S. Marine Corps aviator when he first came to Syracuse University. The Washington D.C., native originally intended on studying computer science, but as is the case with many college students, Watson realized…
New Partnership Announced During Military-Connected Orientation Event
Military-connected students arriving for their first semester at Syracuse University typically have a myriad of needs and challenges that are vastly different from the traditional students they attend classes with. Understanding these unique issues, the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) hosts a new student orientation and resource exclusively for military-connected students each semester.
The orientation event this year was held inside the National Veterans Resource Center at the Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello Building. The OVMA expanded the audience for the orientation beyond the growing population of student veterans to include those currently serving service members and their family members. “This semester we are welcoming 22 new residential undergraduate student veterans to campus, adding to the total of 478 veterans we currently have enrolled at Syracuse University. Additionally, we have more than 1,200 military-connected students, almost six percent of the enrolled student population, attending either full-time, part-time, in person, or online,” said Ron Novack, executive director of the OVMA and a retired U.S. Army colonel. “These students are joining a growing network of military-connected alumni at a university that has set a standard in higher education on providing opportunities for veterans and service members in their post-service lives.”
In addition to the expanded audience, this year the OVMA welcomed representatives from Visions Federal Credit Union to the orientation and resource fair. During the orientation, Visions Federal Credit Union’s Director of Branding and Public Relations, Timothy Strong, announced a new partnership with the OVMA to deliver more robust programs and services for military-connected students at Syracuse University. “We are proud to partner with Syracuse University’s Office of Veteran and Military Affairs to support student veterans,” said Strong. “This impactful program is a natural fit for our mission of helping people achieve their financial goals. We appreciate the commitment and sacrifice of our veteran and military-connected communities and are committed to providing both with the resources they need to succeed.”
The program, funded by Visions Credit Union, will help support access to tutoring, upskilling and financial readiness resources in addition to enhancing existing career services and other programs offered by the OVMA. “We are very excited to have Visions Federal Credit Union as a corporate partner for the OVMA. This program will provide new academic programmatic support and services to the options offered to our student veterans and military-connected students,” said Novack. “I am looking forward to the impact this program will have for our military-connected students, as well as having Visions Federal Credit Union as a partner to support our students through their transition out of the military as well as their pursuit of academic and professional goals.”
After the orientation presentations on available programs and services, the incoming students and family members were able to attend a resource fair held in the Bisignano Grand Hall. More than 25 organizations from on and off campus attended the resource fair, most representing private or non-profit organizations focused specifically on veterans and military families.
Those military-connected students who missed the orientation and resource fair are highly encouraged to visit the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs to learn about exclusive services, programs and support for military-connected students at Syracuse University.