Veterans To Be Honored At TSU Graduation
When graduating from Tennessee State University last year, Ms. June recognized one disservice to her fellow veterans: No one recognized their service and sacrifices during one of their biggest milestones. As an Operation Desert Shield Air Force Veteran who was graduating Magna Cum Laude, she had nothing to distinguish her commitment to the armed forces.
If fraternities, sororities, and honor students can don specialty cords and stoles, service men and women should be able to have the same honor, June believed. That observation led to her founding the TSU Veterans and Military Alumni Chapter where she serves as President.
The Veterans and Military Alumni Chapter focuses on their mission of supporting and mentoring veterans, the military-affiliated, military retirees, and their dependents while at TSU. Their first order of business has been to provide students who qualify a chord to represent their military background.
“We researched and found a red, white, and blue cord that is the exact same length as the honors cord and presented it to Dr. Kade and got approval. Those that currently serve in the military, veterans and ROTC students wear them. They must be graduating and walking,” June explained.
Qualified students can participate by sending an email to June at firstname.lastname@example.org. All interested students will then be verified by three potential sources: Vanessa Cummings, Veterans Affairs Supervisor, Dr. Deborah Bellamy, Military Coordinator, or the ROTC Department. The cords will be free of charge to eligible students.
Aside from the graduation stoles, the Veterans and Military Alumni Association also ensures that graduates are informed about their opportunities as alumni, such as one free year of membership with the National Alumni Association. Alumni also can turn in their student identification to the bursar’s office and for $10 can receive an alumni I.D., which provides access to campus and a 10 percent discount at the bookstore.
The Veterans Alumni Association also sends a wreath to the families military students that pass away on behalf of TSU as part of their mission to support Veterans and Military alumni.