Colorado State University’s mission to become a top veteran-friendly destination has been enhanced by a series of gifts that will create more educational opportunities for our nation’s student-veterans.
Three recent gifts totaling more than $5 million will create hundreds of scholarships and provide several services exclusive to student-veterans, helping them transition into civilian life.
“The generosity of these donors and the commitment they have shown to our veterans is inspiring,” said Mark Gill, a retired Air Force colonel and President Tony Frank’s chief of staff, who has taken a leading role in bolstering student-veteran programs and opportunities at CSU. “They realize, like we do, that student-veterans add experience, maturity and a valuable perspective to our classrooms and campus. The student-veterans and the entire CSU community benefit from these incredible gifts.”
CSU has emerged as one of the country’s top destinations for student-veterans seeking a welcoming environment coupled with a high-level educational experience. The university has beefed up programs and made significant investments in veterans’ scholarship and service programs in recent years, earning numerous accolades:
- Military Times lists CSU 13th among four-year universities on its annual “Best for Vets” list.
- Money magazine in November included CSU in its “25 Great Colleges for Veterans” list.
- CSU recently was named a Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE) campus, designating it one of only a select number of universities in the nation with access to the comprehensive peer-support program that connects incoming student-veterans with those already on campus to provide support, identify challenges and help navigate college life.
“I can’t thank our donors enough. Because of their ongoing support, CSU continues its rise in the ranks of great universities for student-veterans. These tremendous gifts are not only an investment in the lives of individual students, but they are an investment in the future of the workforce in Colorado. Veterans are quickly discovering that CSU provides them an outstanding education and fantastic opportunity to achieve their educational and professional goals,” said Brett Anderson, vice president for University Advancement.
Linigers fortify existing scholarship program
RE/MAX founders Dave and Gail Liniger have extended their commitment to CSU’s student-veterans by donating an additional $3.53 million to the existing Liniger Honor, Service & Commitment Scholarship. In 2014, the Linigers donated $2 million to create the scholarship program, which provides $2,500 renewable per-semester scholarships to students who have served in combat.
In just over two years, the program already has provided more than 500 scholarships for student-veterans.
“The Liniger Scholarship has been a huge help and has allowed me to concentrate on my studies more and not have to work 40 hours per week to pay the bills,” said Katrina Bishop, a Navy veteran and microbiology senior, who plans to attend medical school.
Anschutz Foundation gift creates new program, scholarships
A $ 1.5 million gift from the Denver-based Anschutz Foundation has allowed CSU to greatly expand services and scholarships for student-veterans, and create an employment-related certificate program. The gift offers scholarships to spouses of CSU student-veterans who also would like to earn their degrees, and funds programs and individualized services – from tutoring to career services – to student-veterans through a new veteran community concept. The certificate program is a unique opportunity for two people per year to learn how to manage veterans’ benefits alongside CSU officials and earn credentials through a partnership with Mississippi State University, the only university that offers such a certificate.
“This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning to process veterans’ benefits, a skill that is in very high demand nationwide right now, to learn the complicated process, and get paid to do it,” said Marc Barker, director of CSU’s Adult Learner and Veteran Services and Veteran Education Benefits Office.
Two gifts boost CSU’s New Start program
Included in the $1.5 million Anschutz Foundation gift is $300,000 for the New Start for Student-Veterans program in the College of Health and Human Sciences’ Department of Occupational Therapy to continue its work helping veterans with physical and mental trauma achieve college and career success. New Start services include memory, concentration, and/or physical challenges; stress management; the use of critical academic skills necessary for college success; peer mentoring; recreation connection and assistance; and connection to campus and community resources.
The grant will allow New Start to expand its services and begin to help other colleges and universities learn how they, too, can help injured veterans on their campuses. Dennis Repp, a CSU alumnus and veteran, who has donated more than $2.5 million since 2012 to create the New Start Repp Distinguished Veterans Fund, matched the $300,000 Anschutz Foundation gift.