Wright State named a Best for Vets campus

Wright State’s Veteran and Military Center strives to create an environment that makes student veterans and military-connected students feel like they belong.

Wright State University was named a 2022 Best for Vets college by Military Times, ranking 194 overall and 35 in the Midwest.

The rankings use student success metrics such as completion, retention, persistence and GPA as the most important factors in determining the relative rankings followed closely by the range of military-specific resources and financial assistance available to students. Admissions and registration policies, human resources and assorted miscellaneous considerations also factor into the scoring rubric.

Wright State serves close to 600 veteran and military-connected students per semester.

Seth Gordon, Ph.D., director of the Wright State Veteran and Military Center (VMC), said that one of the reasons that Wright State is successful is that the university strives to create an environment that makes student veterans feel like Wright State wants them and that they belong here.

“The VMC’s most important function is providing support for student veterans, both guard and reservists, as well as their spouses and dependents using GI Bill benefits or other military educational benefits,” Gordon said. “We also try to create a welcoming atmosphere in our space and provide programming that seeks to connect student veterans to each other as well as other campus resources.”

Shannon Hansen, a U.S. Air Force veteran majoring in English with a concentration in professional and technical writing, said that Wright State was the obvious choice for her.

“I was worried about fitting in as I am older than the average student. Also, with my PTSD challenges, I worried about interacting with so many people. The VMC has helped me through all of that,” Hansen said. “While the environment is conducive to studying and providing a safe space, it is the people who work there that make it the amazing place it is. They have listened to me vent, helped me through obstacles, encouraged me to be me by accepting me on my level, just as I am, understanding how difficult it is to ask and accept help. Without the support of the VMC, I am not sure I would be able to navigate this next chapter of my life at Wright State.”

Arden Reimer, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran majoring in photography and minoring in history, said the VMC is an excellent resource.

“It can be a quiet space for study, a collaborative space for those looking for somewhere to meet and a place to bond during the frequent events,” Reimer said. “It provides an opportunity for veterans to get to know those who can help resolve any sort of veteran-specific issues at Wright State.”

Wright State has also been recognized for its military-friendly service with a Military Friendly Bronze Award, from Victory Media, which focuses on working with military publications including the Military Times news organization.

The Ohio Department of Higher Education also named Wright State a Collegiate Purple Star campus for its efforts to create a supportive and inclusive environment for military-connected students.

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