SPC's Graduating Veterans Recognition Lunch Project

November 30, 2018

Public Information Officer

ST. PHILIP'S COLLEGE’S FIRST GRADUATING VETERANS RECOGNITION LUNCH PROJECT CELEBRATES THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF SERVICEMEMBERS AND FAMILIES ALIKE ON DEC. 6

St. Philip's College is saying thanks to graduating student veterans and their families for the holidays in Military City U.S.A. this year with the college’s first veterans academic accomplishment luncheon Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. in Room 216 of the college's Turbon Student Center at 1801 Martin Luther King Drive.

The college envisions the event as an ideal time to honor such outstanding graduating student veterans as retired 28-year Soldier and current sociology student Angelia Jacobs who has provided exemplary corporate leadership and corporate team building services in her capacity as the college's Student Government President and as an Alamo Colleges District Alternate Student Trustee in the era when St. Philip’s College experienced record graduation rates, earned the elite Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence and debuted a bevy of free services for all veterans and family members through its nationally-noted St. Philip’s College Good Samaritan Veterans Outreach and Transition Center at 202 Connelly St.

One of the many student success highlights of the college's graduation ceremonies is a five-year-old tradition---the awarding of St. Philip’s College regalia in the form of a red-white-and-blue cord adornment to honor the college’s special population of degree and certificate candidates who are veterans of service in the armed forces.

The cords have traditionally been provided informally as students are issued caps and gowns. To express more profound thanks to the veteran students while building team consciousness for what the cords represent, a special event has been arranged.

In her capacity as the senior coordinator of student success within the college's Veterans Affairs Office, Veronica Griego is familiar with the journeys of the college's veterans and their families, and is always improving recognition for their service.

"We are having a luncheon because I wanted to do something special for graduating veterans this year. Usually when our veterans get their caps and gowns, they get the cords, but it’s such an achievement that a larger ceremony is deserved. We will be presenting the red, white and blue honor cords and an additional thank you---a lapel pin shaped like a dog tag for each veteran. Just a little thank you they can remember from being here at St. Philip's College, and their achievements," said Griego.

The college has many reasons to celebrate the graduation of each veteran. St. Philip's College volunteered to become a community college as its core business when community colleges were originally established to serve transitioning service members following World War II. The dedication has paid off as the veterans benefit from attending an affordable college with global operations and a local base. The college even maintains a monument funded by students to honor the student veteran experience, and is historically among Military City U.S.A.’s top three colleges preferred by local military consumers, with roughly 1,200 benefit–eligible uniformed, civilian, retired, transitioning and family servicemembers attending the college in fall and spring semesters, and approximately 750 during summer terms.

Expressing thanks in meaningful ways for those student veterans and families who are bettering themselves through college education in Military City U.S.A. is one of Griego’s important passions.

"Transition is hard. I wanted something for the milestone. I presented it to our veterans committee team and we are moving forward with it," Griego said of the innovative recognition project.

"Each year it will grow, but for this first one we have a welcome and a lunch, for them and their family members. Family members are a key part of them achieving this goal. We had over 60 graduating veterans who qualified this December. We should have up to that number along with many family members if we are lucky, and I'm excited," said Griego.

To join the conversation or support the deployment of new recognition initiatives for all student veterans at St. Philip’s College, contact the college veterans affairs team at spc-vetaffairs@alamo.edu and visit their web page.