by Alana J. Mauger
On Nov. 8, military veterans and their supporters joined Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout and members of the College’s Veterans Task Force to officially open the College’s new Veterans Resource Center.
Through a $115,000 grant from The Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, the College was able to convert the “202 House” on its Central Campus in Blue Bell into a dedicated Veterans Resource Center. The facility includes rooms for meetings, classes and a community area, where students can study, relax or participate in small group programs.
Representatives from the Montgomery County Veterans Center and from Pennsylvania Career Link will also hold regular office hours for both the College’s students and the community veteran population at large.
Supporting student veterans is not new for Montgomery County Community College. The College’s veteran support services were extremely active during 1960s and 1970s as veterans were returning from the Vietnam War.
In 2006, as veterans began to return from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the College, once again, re-invigorated its veterans services and established a Veterans Support Team as part of the institution’s Student Success Initiative. Since then, the College’s student veteran enrollment has grown by close to 55 percent over the past five years, with a record number of 398 veterans enrolled this fall.
During the dedication ceremony, Dr. Stout presented members of the Veterans Support Team with the plaque designating the College as a “Military Friendly School” for the fourth consecutive year by G.I. Jobs magazine.
Numerous federal, state and local officials joined the College for the dedication ceremony, including U.S. Representatives Patrick Meehan and Chaka Fattah; Pa. Senator John Rafferty; Pa. Representatives Matthew Bradford, Tim Briggs, Larry Curry, Madeleine Dean, Thomas Murt, Marcy Toepel, and Todd Stephens; and Montgomery County Commissioners Vice Chair Leslie Richards.
photos by Sandi Yanisko