Northwestern Health Sciences University today opened its new Veterans Support Center on campus to serve the needs of students who have served in the military.
The Home Depot Foundation, the charitable arm of the national home improvement retailer, provided a $6,400 grant to Northwestern’s Students Serving Veterans Club to help furnish and equip the center in the main Northwestern building overlooking a park and a lake on the Bloomington campus.
“Our student veterans have given to our country, and this is one way we can give back to them,” Northwestern President Christopher Cassirer said. “We’re fortunate to have a large group of students who are veterans. This is an example of how we help them succeed as they take the next steps with their educations and the health professions they have chosen.”
Opening ceremonies included a ribbon cutting as well as words of thanks and encouragement from Northwestern officials, students, and veterans who assembled on campus. The center was the idea of Northwestern’s Students Serving Veterans Club, which applied for the Home Depot Foundation grant, one of 50 provided to student veterans’ groups at campuses nationwide.
“We want this to be a place for veterans and their families to hang out, take a break, study or find information they need on benefits or other veterans-related issues,” said Angela Thomsen, a chiropractic student who serves in the Army National Guard and is co-president of the Students Serving Veterans Club. “It’s a place where they can feel comfortable sharing their stories with fellow veterans who understand what they’ve been through.”
Josh Schreiner, a Northwestern chiropractic student, Air Force veteran and club co-president, said: “It just makes it easier for veterans in our rigorous and highly demanding academic program to find support for success.”
James McCloden, a senior admissions counselor, chairman of Northwestern’s Veterans Task Force and an Army veteran, will serve as director for the new center, working with the national Student Veterans of America organization to establish guidelines and policies.
Northwestern offers tuition discounts to veterans and covers additional costs as a veteran-friendly Yellow Ribbon School. It has organized “Feed ’Em and Treat ’Em” events for veterans to try chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, and other treatments to address pain, often caused by injuries they suffered in military service.
Northwestern, based in Bloomington, provides world-class professional education and research as well as comprehensive health and wellness services. Its more than 130 faculty members annually teach about 6,500 students pursuing degrees and continuing education in accredited programs in chiropractic, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, nutrition and other health treatments. The university, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2016, has more than 7,500 graduates throughout the U.S. and in 21 countries.