BU earns Military Friendly School designation

For Immediate Release: Sept. 23, 2014 

BLOOMSBURG — For the first time, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania has earned the Military Friendly School designation from Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The Military Friendly list has been published every year since 2003, identifying schools as top tier institutions with leading opportunities for military service members and spouses.

As a 2015 Military Friendly School, BU is ranked in the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country working to embrace military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus. 

“Bloomsburg University has been working diligently to better serve armed service members, veterans and their dependents,” said Ira K. Blake, university provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “We have a useful website, established an Office of Military and Veterans Resources and have been growing a whole team to support our veterans, military members and their families.”

With more than 40 incoming student veterans this fall, BU has seen its veteran population more than double in the past three years. Its campus is now home to more than 200 student veterans in addition to about 100 veterans and service members among its faculty and staff.

BU’s recent growth in support efforts is an extension to the foundation built by its Student Veterans Association (BUSVA). The active student group has been a valuable networking and support resource for incoming student veterans, as well as a facilitator of military awareness across campus through hosting veteran activities, fundraisers for veteran causes and as a volunteer pool for other BU student groups and organizations. 

“Receiving the Military Friendly Schools designation is a step in the right direction in telling everyone we are ready to support military members throughout the entire process of higher education here at BU,” said Bob Heckrote ’12, university military and veterans advocate and a student in BU’s graduate-level School Counseling and College Student Affairs program. “This is a definitive statement to all that we are ready to receive and support military members. This designation is a reflection of the great things that are done here in support of military students. Being a Military Friendly School tells current and potential students that they have a home here at BU.”

Other highlighted services include sponsoring a student veterans lounge in the Warren Student Services Center, regularly bringing expert speakers to campus to discuss veteran issues and providing priority scheduling for student veterans.

The 2015 list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for tuition funding through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Methodology, criteria and weighting for the list were developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board consisting of educators from schools across the country. 

“Bloomsburg University is committed to the continuous improvement of our service to and support of veterans, military members and their families,” Blake said. “And, we are exploring ways to do so.”

For more information on veteran services at BU visit http://bloomu.edu/veterans.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university, celebrating 175 years of excellence in 2014, serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.