By: Avery Corkins
Missouri Western has a broad range of backgrounds across students and staff. One category that can get overlooked are members who have served or are serving in the military.
Recently, Missouri Western has taken several opportunities to give thanks and show appreciation for the community of members on campus. John Hewitt, an academic advisor involved with Military and Veterans Academic Liaison Services, is currently providing office signs for non-veterans to say thank you and for veterans to show who they are. This move was made to highlight those who serve or who have served on campus.
Many current and former service members along with their families members attend classes and work at Missouri Western. Colleges with service members in their student bodies often have a military and veteran service center on campus. These service centers give the students a chance to meet fellow military or veteran students, have study groups, seek out counseling services, see academic advisors and use computer labs. Getting one of these centers on campus is a goal that many at Missouri Western look to achieve.
Hewitt is part of an effort to create a service center for Griffons who serve, have served or are related to members in the service. According to Hewitt, he and the dean of the Craig School of Business and Technology, Logan Jones, were inspired by signs they saw at the University of Central Missouri veterans center.
“We saw these signs while we were there, and we thought it was a great idea to get that moving on our campus,” Hewitt said. “Most universities do have this one-stop place on campus for members to come and utilize all of their resources, and we find that important to bring to Missouri Western.”
According to Hewitt, not only is it important to create a center for students who serve, it is also important to recognize those who serve on a daily basis. While many see Missouri Western as a diverse campus full of different stories, some people might not think about veterans who come back to school after serving. Louise Mills, accountant for the athletics department, put up signs around the Looney offices to thank service members and veterans.
“I always want to support any group on campus that might be overlooked, and the veterans are such an important part of our student body,” Mills said. “They have given so much, so we want to recognize them in every opportunity we get.”
Signs can be seen in nearly every building on campus by looking on bulletin boards or in office windows, including in the Registrar’s office. Jesse White, assistant registrar, served in the Navy from from 2004 to 2009 and said he appreciated the effort of inclusion.
“I think these signs give veterans a chance to instantly connect with others here on campus when they see these signs in the entryways of offices,” White said. “I think this simply makes campus a bit more inviting of veterans and it may help in their decision to come to Missouri Western.”
Anyone who would like a sign can pick one up in Spratt 105. There are different versions for veteran and non-veteran employees to show their support.