State VA to Designate CWU a Veteran Supportive Campus

  • August 26, 2020
  • Public Affairs
Aerial shot of Ellensburg campus

Central Washington University will formally be designated a "veteran supportive campus" on Tuesday, November 10. The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) is awarding Central the designation based on the university's demonstrated commitment to serving the needs of military personnel in Ellensburg, at university campuses statewide, through online classes, and at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The ceremony will include CWU veterans, local veterans' organizations, representatives from the university Air Force and Army ROTC detachments, comments from US Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and local elected officials who are veterans.

At the 11:00 a.m. salute, in Barge Hall 412, CWU President James L. Gaudino, a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, will sign the memorandum of understanding on behalf of the university.

"This is a tremendous honor and a credit to the faculty and staff who work hard to make our veterans and their families welcome here every day," said Gaudino.

WDVA Deputy Director Gary Condra will represent the agency at the event.

"We're excited that Central Washington University has taken the initiative to become a Partner for Veteran Supportive Campuses," said Condra. "With so many transitioning service members entering higher education across our state, this program helps to share best practices and highlight those campuses who have gone above and beyond in helping veterans achieve their higher education goals. We're excited to see what's next for the CWU Veterans Center and applaud your efforts to serve veterans on your campus."

Ruben Cardenas, CWU Veterans Center director, will also make brief remarks concerning university outreach to the more than 500 veterans and family members now taking classes and completing coursework on a variety of degrees through the university.

By signing the agreement, CWU commits to:

  • Encourage campus-wide implementation of best practices and policies to foster social support, acceptance, a welcoming environment, and a setting that meaningfully acknowledges the contributions of veterans;
  • Encourage the exchange of information between participating organizations to support veteran success;
  • Encourage veterans to use GI Bill® benefits;
  • Ensure staff and veterans have access to services through WDVA and its federal and local partners;
  • Help veterans succeed in post-secondary education and training;
  • Increase awareness of veteran's programs on and off campus; and
  • Provide staff members with a core set of veteran cultural competencies.

Between 2012 and 2015, the number of United States military veterans studying at CWU increased by 20 percent. The increase is 30 percent when active duty, reservists, and eligible dependents are factored in.

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