North's MOU Ceremony Honored Veterans

MOU signing Ceremony

Left to Right: Mitsui, Lee, Gregoire

North Seattle Community College was the 11th of 34 community colleges to sign the Partners for Veteran Supportive Campuses Memorandum of Understanding on April 25. This ceremony represents North's continuing commitment to serving veterans who are transitioning from military life to college life and beyond. About 65 people attended the event, 25 of whom were student veterans.

The opening speaker was David Peraino, an Army combat veteran, purple heart recipient, and alumnus of NSCC. He addressed the challenges he faced as he made his way from soldier to student. The signing presentation followed, with NSCC President Mark Mitsui, John Lee, the director of the Washington Department of Veteran Affairs, and First Gentleman Mike Gregoire. As part of the signing ceremony, the president showed his appreciation for North's veterans by presenting a commemorative coin to each veteran in attendance. President Mitsui was assisted by Jim Medley. The closing speaker was Dr. Peter Schmidt, with a presentation on veterans best practices.

Veteran Rolando Roxas spoke about the event:
"I am grateful to First Gentleman Gregoire and to President Mitsui for taking the time in their busy schedules to acknowledge veterans like me. I am thankful for their efforts to recognize veterans’ needs and for understanding the sense of loss that we commonly go through after separating from our cherished and respected military units – that’s something people may not comprehend. I am hoping they will continue to help the NSCC veteran community with whatever educational help we need. Again, thank you for much to all who made this event possible."

The reason for the Memorandum of Understanding ceremony is to:
   - Increase awareness of veteran’s programs on and off campus.
   - Provide staff members with a core set of veteran cultural competencies.
   - Encourage campuses to implement best practices and policies designed to foster social support, acceptance, a welcoming environment, and a setting that meaningfully acknowledges the contributions of our veterans.
   - Encourage veterans to use GI Bill benefits.
   - Help veterans succeed in higher education and training.
   - Ensure staff and veterans have access to services through WDVA and its federal and local partners.

Posted on: May 9th, 2012 at 13:44:15

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