Grace College and Seminary, Winona Lake, Ind., will use a $50,000 grant from Operation Diploma, an initiative of the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University, to develop programs and policies designed to boost academic success of student service members and veterans who attend Grace.
The award will fund the construction of a new VA Student Service Center on the Grace College and Seminary campus. The VA Student Services Center will become a place where veteran students can connect and commune with fellow veterans, network and share strategies, information, and support as they adjust to a higher education environment.
The Center will also provide a place for veteran students to study, stay up-to-date regarding military announcements and civilian affairs such as career placement. Additionally, the grant will fund the development of informational resources which will assist veterans in not only adapting to life outside of the military but specifically within Kosciusko County.
Dr. Ronald Manahan, president of Grace College and Seminary, said, “Grace College and Seminary recognize the many sacrifices made by our nation’s military. I consider it a privilege and an honor to offer our veterans the resources they need to succeed in the higher education setting and beyond. Our Veterans Service Center is just the beginning of the many ways that our institution would like to thank those who have served and who are currently serving.”
Launched with a $5.8 million gift from Lilly Endowment Inc., Operation Diploma empowers Indiana institutions of higher education and student veterans organizations to better serve student service members and veterans entering college for the first time, and those re-entering college after extended service or deployment.
Grace College and Seminary currently has 18 students claiming Veterans benefits. Of the 18 students, 10 are military veterans and 8 are dependents of military veterans.
Tom Dunn, chief operating officer for Grace, said, “As a former United States Air Force officer, I’m excited about Grace’s initiatives to support the veterans program. It’s gratifying to see the school assisting veteran students by providing facilities to specifically meet their needs as they adjust to the higher education setting.”