Veterans Continue Education at UNH

The Charger Bulletin

By UNH Today

After graduating from high school, Noe Castro ’14 joined the United States Air Force and served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. Upon returning to the States, he decided to enroll in college and picked UNH.

“I came back ready,” Castro told the Connecticut Post in a Veterans Day feature story.

Castro is one of more than 180 former veterans, triple the number from three years ago, who are enrolled at the University. UNH is one of only three schools in the state to be named a “Military Friendly College,” a distinction it has earned the last two years. The University also participates in the national Yellow Ribbon program, which provides tuition support to qualified veterans.

UNH will host its 11th annual Veterans Day ceremony on Monday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. in the Maxcy Quad. The event, the brainchild of former UNH president Larry DeNardis, began after 9/11.

Jason C. Riendeau, coordinator of military and veteran student recruitment, told the Connecticut Post that in order to accommodate the veteran population, UNH has dedicated staff and support services in offices such as admissions, financial aid and the bursar. An expanded Veteran Success Center will be opened in Maxcy Hall in the spring.

Riendeau said the University benefits from having veterans on campus because they add to the diversity of the campus, are a fun group to work with and tend to be better students.

“Some vets go into the service because they didn’t do well in college the first time around, or didn’t go to college at all,” Riendeau told the Connecticut Post. “Most come back with more maturity and a whole new attitude.”

Earlier this month, UNH hosted a forum on veteran services that attracted nearly 50 participants from 22 institutions from around the region. The keynote speaker was Roger Thompson, a senior fellow at the Syracuse University Institute for Veteran and Military Families. He shared his current research, which he gathered from visiting veterans’ centers at colleges and universities across the country, that aims to provide a model for how best to facilitate veteran transition from military service to higher education.

Also taking part in the forum were Michael Criscuolo of the Connecticut Office of Higher Education and Gerard Jacques of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

“The success of this program is reflective of the national commitment to ensuring our returning service men and women have the support they need to achieve their educational goals,” said Christie Boronico, associate vice president of retention.