A Message From The President
Today, hundreds of thousands of veterans around the world will remember and pay tribute to their fellow, fallen soldiers. Mothers and fathers will remember their sons and daughters, children will remember their parents, and still others will remember their spouses.
For those heroes who do return home, it is incumbent upon all of us to help them transition back into society once again.
In 2008, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill was signed into law, providing financial support for education and housing to individuals who served in the military at least 90 days on or after September 11, 2001. One year later, the benefits were expanded to include financial support for vocational or technical training. The Yellow Ribbon Program further expanded those benefits by providing additional funds to offset the difference between the cost of public and private institutions.
Several hundred thousand veterans are eligible for this educational support, and some of the benefits are even transferrable to their spouses and children. Fortunately, in New York State, over 100 colleges and universities have joined together to be a part of this exceptional program. Last year, approximately 2,200 former service members took advantage of these benefits to enroll at one of New York’s institutions of higher education, with hundreds more anticipated to follow in years to come. And, thanks to this program, veterans no longer have to worry about the affordability of a college education. They can follow their dreams to the school of their choice . . . and they have earned that choice.
At St. John Fisher College, we currently have 45 student-veterans who are receiving benefits under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Prior to this bill, there were 21 such students. We are honored that these 45 chose Fisher to further their education and focus their future, and we are proud to serve their needs.
Just recently, a group of student-veterans at Fisher formed the Veteran Affairs Club. Their first organized fundraising event, which will take place on Veterans Day, is called “Keep Your Chin Up for the Troops.” Students, faculty, and staff will take pledges to complete chin-ups, raising money for the local Veteran’s Outreach Center. Given their level of enthusiasm, I am certain this will be a successful event.
And so, on this Veterans Day, as we remember the fallen heroes, as well as those who continue to protect us, please take the time to thank our veterans for their selfless dedication and commitment to safeguarding our freedoms. Thank them for their sacrifices, and celebrate this Veterans Day for them.
Dr. Donald E. Bain
United States Navy, Veteran
Check out photos from Commencement 2016 on Flickr!
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