Strengthening its substantial commitment to veterans, The Evergreen State College will hold a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony of its new Veterans’ Lounge, Wednesday April 3 at 2 p.m., on the first floor of the Daniel J. Evans Library.
“Evergreen has a long history of supporting veterans,” said Evergreen President George Bridges. “We are proud to dedicate this new Veterans’ Lounge to past, present and future veterans who walk through the doors of our institution.” Evergreen’s unique educational model and challenging academics make it an outstanding option for veterans, according to the national publication InsideHigherED.
Washington State Rep. Kristine Reeves, who was the statewide veterans’ coordinator for Sen. Patty Murray, veterans’ service center and program manager Rafael Lozano from the Washington Department of Veteran Affairs, and U.S. Army company commanders will be present to show their support for Evergreen and the work the college does with veterans.
“Although it’s not a USO, it is a USO-like environment,” said retired Navy officer and Evergreen Veterans Resource Center Director Randy Kelley. “They can come into the lounge and do a multitude of things like study, watch movies, get computer access and do much more. It’s also a place where the Evergreen Students Veterans Organization (ESVO) can hold their meetings.”
The Veterans’ Resource Center has been the traditional epicenter for veterans on campus, where they could study, review their transcripts, their service-related education benefits, and make connections with other students.
With the increase in veteran students over the last few years, they outgrew the center, according to Kelley. Now the new lounge, originally a student-led project of the ESVO, will be able to host more veterans.
“The new Veterans’ Lounge is another step toward welcoming veteran soldiers, students and their dependents so we can feel at home on campus,” said Evergreen senior and ESVO President Frank Brooks, who served in the Army and is a combat veteran. “Our organization is open to everybody and I would hope that all Evergreen students feel comfortable sharing our space.”