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DONORS HELP EASE BURDEN FOR STUDENT-VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES
by Maggie Walsh
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY is known for providing generous educational opportunities for student-veterans.
A new scholarship program takes that commitment to military families one step further by offering financial assistance to the spouses of those who have served our country.
The Anschutz Veteran Spouse Scholarship is one of the first of its kind in the nation, offering up to $2,500 per semester for military spouses of CSU students who would also like to pursue degrees in higher education.
Courtney Graby, an undergraduate student in social work and one of the first to receive the spousal scholarship, said the award will prevent her and her husband, Dean, a 13-year Army veteran, from accruing more debt for her schooling. “I think it’s amazing that they’re reaching out to spouses,” she said. “We rely solely on student loans to pay for my classes, so this helps now and in the long run.”
CSU’s mission to become a top veteran-friendly destination has been enhanced by three recent gifts totaling more than $5 million, including the Anschutz Veteran Spouse Scholarship, that will create hundreds of scholarships and provide educational opportunities exclusive to student-veterans.
“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 CSU 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.”
“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,” 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 they donated $2 million to create the scholarship program, which provides $2,500 renewable per-semester scholarships to students who have served in combat. The program 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 allows two people per year to learn how to manage veterans’ benefits alongside CSU officials, and earn credentials through enrollment in a program at 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 NEW START PROGRAM
The New Start for Student-Veterans program in the College of Health and Human Sciences’ Department of Occupational Therapy received $300,000 of the $1.5 million Anschutz Foundation gift to continue its work helping veterans with physical and mental trauma achieve college and career success.
The grant allows 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.
Like Courtney, Dean Graby is receiving financial aid and supportive services at CSU, made possible by generous donors. He is also studying to earn a social work degree at CSU and admits that the pressure of having two parents in school, raising two small children, and adjusting to civilian life after the military can sometimes feel overwhelming. The New Start program, Liniger Scholarship and Anschutz Veteran Spouse Scholarship have all allowed him to sleep better at night, knowing he is able to care for himself and his family.
Dean Graby said he has a message for Repp, the Linigers, members of the Anschutz Foundation, and others who have donated to student-veteran programs: “Your generosity is working. Programs like New Start and the scholarship programs wouldn’t be around without private donors, and it is a huge stress relief to veterans and their families to know we have this kind of support. Thank you.”
READ MORE OR GIVE A GIFT veteransresources.colostate.edu