Washburn University is being recognized on Thursday, November 9, for its commitment to veterans and members of the military with designation as the first Purple Heart University in Kansas. The award is being presented by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization chartered by Congress in 1958 to recognize men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat. The organization advocates on behalf of veterans and runs a number of service programs across the country.
“We have been identified time and again as a military-friendly school by numerous agencies,” said Eric Grospitch, Washburn’s vice president of student life. “Now we are honoring our commitment to the combat wounded through this proclamation.”
Grospitch said this recognition is just another step signifying Washburn’s commitment to service members and their success as Washburn seeks to become the institution of choice – particularly for the enlisted servicemen and women -- with programs at both Washburn University and Washburn Tech.
Washburn University is working to expand its support services for both current and former service members and established a Veterans’ Success Center in Mabee Library in 2015. In addition, the university recently added an online Academic Boot Camp for veterans who want to brush up on their academic skills before returning to school.
“We also offer extensive support services for veterans and current members of the military through the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion,” Grospitch said. “There, trained staff members can help veterans access their GI Bill benefits as well as deal with issues surrounding transitions from the military to life on a civilian campus.”
The recognition as a Purple Heart University comes a day before the annual Washburn University Veterans’ Day Ceremony.
“Over the years, Washburn Ichabods have served in every conflict since the Civil War and we’re proud of their service and honor their sacrifices,” Grospitch said. “We plan to continue expanding our services for our veterans and look forward to welcoming them to our campus.”
Ed Note -- The ceremony recognizing Washburn University as a Purple Heart University will take place at 2 p.m. in the Security Benefit foyer on the second floor of Morgan Hall above the atrium.