As part of Wesleyan’s ongoing commitment to recruiting and supporting military veterans, the University has partnered with service to school as the newest member of its VetLink network of higher education institutions.
“This partnership allows us to work with the Service to School team to identify veteran undergraduate applicants and ensure they are prepared to succeed when applying to Wesleyan,” said Amin Abdul-Malik Gonzalez ’96. , Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. .
“We are proud to welcome Wesleyan University as a newest member of the Service to School VetLink Partner Program,” said Jim Selbe, Chief Operating Officer, Service to School. “Wesleyan University’s commitment to building connections and relationships within and beyond the classroom sets an example for creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for our nation’s veterans.”
Gonzalez and his team recognize that the journey of a veteran at Wesleyan is very different from that of a student who has just graduated from high school. “It is important that the Admissions Office explore meaningful ways to recognize and respect the personal circumstances of veterans,” Gonzalez said.
The admissions office also launched a section on the Wesleyan website dedicated to veterans. Future student veterans will find resources and information on financial aid here. The University will also soon make available a veteran-specific undergraduate application that adapts to various circumstances.
“A customized application will allow our team to appropriately consider translatable military and life experiences as part of our holistic review of each veteran candidate,” Gonzalez said.
In addition to the University’s partnership with Service to School, it will co-sponsor a college success workshop early next year with the Scholar-Warrior Projectwhich provides veterans with mentorship and resources throughout their cultural transition from military service to college.
“What makes Wesleyan different is that here I can fully be a student. I study Latin American social and political movements in the 20th century. I joined the rugby team. I was a model for an art class. I joined different groups of students and met people who were enthusiastic, energetic and motivated to learn. I will always be a veteran, but here I don’t have to be a veteran first,” said Diego Olivieri, 24, who served in the US Marine Corps.
The University will also work with the Ministry of Education Veterans Up program designed to help veterans acquire the academic skills necessary for successful post-secondary studies.
“Wesleyan isn’t necessarily a place for someone just looking to get a degree. It’s a place where people can challenge themselves academically, even if you don’t know exactly what you want to learn yet. Being passionate about learning is the most important thing,” said Kay Perkins ’24, a U.S. Air Force veteran.
Gonzalez said he plans to meet with many Wesleyan veterans to seek other ways to support this vital part of the college community.
During Homecoming and Family weekend, a group of local veterans, staff and faculty gathered at Beckham Hall to tune in on their shared service and enjoy each other’s company. Shortly before kickoff of the Nov. 5 football game against Williams College, the veterans lined up behind the Middletown Pipes and Drum corps, and to the sound of bagpipes and cheers from the Wesleyan faithful, they surrendered in the field.
“Military veterans are a valuable part of the Wesleyan community, helping to enrich and fully engage in the challenging yet practical principles of civil debate and collaborative problem-solving that move us forward, both individually and collectively.” , González said.