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New Recognition for Veterans at UC’s December Commencement


UC’s graduating veterans can pick up an item at the new Veterans Center that will instantly identify them as veterans at December Commencement.

Date: 12/6/2012 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover

UC ingot   The University of Cincinnati’s Veterans One Stop Center is distributing a special adornment for graduating veterans who confirmed they’ll be marching at Commencement on Dec. 15.
Charles Saffell
Charles Saffell

Veterans can stop by the center to be presented with a red-white-and-blue honor cord to wear over their graduation regalia.

Debra Merchant, associate vice president for student affairs, says the recognition for graduating student veterans and active members of the military was first proposed by graduating student veteran Charles Saffell.

“I had seen an article or two about universities honoring veterans at their Commencement ceremonies with honor cords, and I thought it would be nice to begin that tradition here at UC,” says Saffell, a native of Columbus, Ohio. Saffell served in the U.S. Navy from 1997-2009 when he entered UC in fall, 2009. The 35-year-old veteran is graduating from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) with a bachelor’s degree in sport administration.

“First, I tweeted the idea to President Ono, who put me in touch with Student Body President Lane Hart. Lane ran with the idea from there and got in contact with the Veterans Programs and Services Office.”

“Sometimes it takes one student voice to start a new, UC tradition,” says Merchant.

Anthony Lauderbach hands Charles Saffell the honor cords from the UC Veterans Service Center.
Anthony Lauderbach hands Charles Saffell the honor cords from the UC Veterans One Stop Center.

The new, Veterans One Stop Center was formally dedicated on Nov. 9, following UC’s annual ceremony to honor the nation’s veterans.  The center – a partnership between UC Enrollment Management and Student Affairs – is part of a growing trend among the nation’s universities to support the unique needs of the growing population of student veterans.

For the fourth year in a row, the University of Cincinnati is highlighted among 15 percent of the nation’s colleges, universities and trade schools as being an education destination for veterans. UC was named to the 2013 Military Friendly Schools® list by G.I. Jobs, the premier magazine for military personnel adjusting to civilian life.

Graduating veterans can pick up the honor cords at the Veterans Center, located on the second floor of University Pavilion, during business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) Monday - Friday. The phone number for the center is 513-556-6811.

December graduates can check the UC Commencement website for additional Commencement information.

Proudly Cincinnati: A Salute to Service