UNC Pembroke honored its graduating military veterans in a special ceremony in Old Main on May 2.
Fifty-two veterans will graduate on May 3-4. At the event, they received red, white and blue “Americana” cords to wear with their regalia signifying veteran status.
At the Veterans Recognition event for 2013 graduates this spring
Chancellor Kyle R. Carter also gave the vets UNCP “challenge coins,” recognizing their achievements and membership in the ranks of UNCP graduates.
“This is the time the university says thanks to its graduating veterans,” Chancellor Carter said. “The 52 veteran graduates this spring, I am proud to say, is a record number for us.”
“You bring different perspectives to our university that enrich our classrooms and expand the horizons of all our students,” he said. “You are a pretty important part of us.”
Approximately 15 percent of UNCP’s enrollment are veterans, active duty, or connected to the military in some way including family. UNCP has focused on the needs of this group, in part, by establishing an office for Military and Veterans Assistance and hiring retired Col. Mike Clawson to lead it.
Americana honor cords to be worn at commencement and the challenge coin to honor the vets joining the ranks of UNCP graduates.
Clawson, who hosted the May 2 event, said there are good reasons why UNCP has been named a “military friendly” school by two national publications.
“Only about 15 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities receive this designation,” he said. “What makes UNCP deserving of the ‘military friendly’ designation is that we are trying to do everything we can to make the transition to college easier for veterans.
“But the real reason we deserve this status is the success of the men and women here today,” Clawson continued. “You strapped on your books, took off, and drew fire.”
In the audience was Rudolph Eddings, a veteran from Pembroke, who was there to support his daughter, Katie, who will receive a master’s degree in school administration. He was proud.
“I am here with two sons,” Eddings said. “We are all veterans; my daughter was in the Air Force for 15 years.”