Wright State University was named a Collegiate Purple Star campus, a new designation established by the Ohio Department of Higher Education to recognize Ohio colleges and universities for their efforts to support students with military backgrounds.
The first group of Collegiate Purple Star campuses was announced on May 26 by Randy Gardner, chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
“The Veteran and Military Center at Wright State has done an excellent job providing a supportive environment for those veterans and service members making the transition to college and the workforce,” Gardner said. “Wright State is a very deserving recipient of the Collegiate Purple Star designation.”
Wright State President Sue Edwards, Ph.D., said, “Wright State is extremely honored to be among the first Universities in Ohio to achieve the Purple Star Designation. It highlights our steadfast commitment to support our brave active-duty military members, veterans, and their families. As a public institution of higher education, it is not only our duty but our honor to ensure those that served our great nation have access to quality educational opportunities that meets their educational needs.”
Ohio public and independent colleges and universities are recognized as Collegiate Purple Star campuses for offering military-connected students a supportive and inclusive community.
The awards advance the work started by Ohio’s PreK–12 school system to create a Purple Star designation for military-friendly schools. Ohio is the first state in the nation to offer these designations, the Ohio Department of Higher Education said.
Seth Gordon, Ph.D., director of Wright State’s Veteran and Military Center, said, “This designation exists, in part, because of the work that Amanda Watkins did as the associate director of the VMC and the co-chair of the Ohio Veterans Education Council several years ago. Her attention to detail permeates our application’s ability to meet the requirements in terms of policy, procedures and digital infrastructure.”
Gordon said the application process for the Collegiate Purple Star program required him to take a closer look at some items he had never explored in detail.
“It made me realize that the support for student veterans and military-connected students is campus-wide — and we all need to celebrate this achievement because we earned it together,” he said.
Wright State has long been recognized as a welcoming campus for veterans and other military-connected students.
The university served about 700 veterans and military-connected students, including those on active duty and serving in the National Guard and Reserve, during the 2021–22 academic year. The university offers an array of resources to help those students on campus.
The Veteran and Military Center is a 4,500-square-foot area in Allyn Hall that provides a welcoming space on campus for veteran and military-connected students where they can relax and study together and helps them feel like they belong at Wright State. The VMC is designed to efficiently provide support services for veteran and military-connected students.
“Our overarching goal is to meet the needs of military-connected students and make sure they feel satisfied and supportive,” Gordon said. “The VMC contributes to a feeling of belonging by creating an environment of trust and connectedness for our students. We want to be genuinely military friendly in both designation and deed.”
The center advocates for veterans and active-duty students and assists them with issues that may arise for students during their time at Wright State.
The university delivers high-quality career service counseling and helps veterans connect with other students through campus events and activities, student organizations and through the VMC.
The university facilitates priority registration for all veterans and military-connected service members, including active-duty students and those in the National Guard and Reserves.
Wright State awards education credits for military training and experience from all branches of the U.S. military.
Wright State supports students interested in careers as officers in the military through the Army ROTC Raider Battalion and Air Force ROTC Detachment 643.
In recent years, Wright State’s Veteran and Military Alumni Society has increased its activities by sponsoring a welcome back to campus mixer and organizing fundraising events and career events for recent alumni.