SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Victory Media has released its list of Military Friendly® Schools for 2016, and once again both Evangel University and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary at Evangel have been recognized for their efforts on behalf of veterans, military service personnel and their families.
The recognition is based on data related to a variety of issues, including veterans support on campus, military spouse policies and employment outcomes.
Between Evangel and AGTS, there are 73 students/dependents who are using their veteran benefits this fall.
“This designation is important because it identifies schools who are intentionally changing policies, procedures, and atmosphere to be welcoming to veterans,” said Chaplain Stormy Davis, coordinator of veterans services at Evangel.
“Only the top 20% of schools in the nation get this designation, and each year the survey becomes more tough, so we’re always looking for ways to improve,” she said.
Evangel University and AGTS at Evangel have changed the way they process veterans benefits, added a veteran center, and have a retired military chaplain available to talk with veterans. They are also working directly with counselors at the school and in the community to get their veterans better assistance.
“I’ve had a few veterans and families ask about the status,” said Davis. “They feel more comfortable coming to the school themselves, or sending their family if they know we’ll be able to understand the needs of their families.”
The Military Friendly® list was released on Nov. 5, 2015 — ratings, lists and program information are available for free at https://militaryfriendly.com.
The Veteran’s Center at Evangel
The Admiral Vern Clark Veterans Center at Evangel provides focused service to military families, including helping them keep track of required federal paperwork, connecting them with upperclassmen who can familiarize them with the university and offering a comfortable place in which they can relax.
“Sometimes these men and women need to get away from the crowds,” said Davis. “This is designed to be a safe, warm and welcoming place, where they can meet with fellow vets, or just study in peace.”
Admiral Clark — a 1967 graduate of Evangel — is the retired Chief of Naval Operations for the U.S. Navy, having served in that position and on the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2000-2005. He is the second-longest serving CNO in history.
The Veterans Center opened in the summer of 2014, and the dedication ceremony was held on March 24, 2015.
For the full story and a link to the dedication video, visit: https://www.evangel.edu/press_releases/2015/03/25/veterans-center-named-admiral-vern-clark-dedicated-evangel-university/
A history of service
The State of Missouri Military Order of the Purple Heart honored Evangel this past year as a Purple Heart University, recognizing its work with veterans, dependents and active duty military.
AGTS has a long history of training military chaplains. Currently, more than 180 AGTS alumni are serving as chaplains in the Armed Forces and Veterans Administration, and about 30 students are preparing for chaplaincy.
Evangel University has a history with the military dating back to World War II — the very grounds upon which Evangel is built served as the O’Reilly General Hospital, an Army facility that opened in 1941 and treated more than 50,000 wounded soldiers. Most of what we know about plastic surgery today was developed at O’Reilly during WWII.
Following the war, a portion of the O’Reilly grounds and buildings were deeded to the Assemblies of God to serve as a home to the first liberal arts college of the AG.
“We were able to start Evangel College with basically all of the facilities that we needed,” said Shirley Shedd, archivist at EU. “Upon acquisition of the hospital, we immediately had a cafeteria, a gymnasium, dormitories. This was a great blessing.”
Meeting the needs of Veteran families
Up to 400,000 service members, including Reservists and members of the Guard, leave military service each year; more than a third attend college after separation.
The Military Friendly® listings provide a consistent and predictable standard that lets them make good choices for major life decisions like where to work or where to enroll in school.
“Those earning the 2016 Military Friendly® designation demonstrate a strong connection between classroom learning and career development” said Daniel Nichols, chief product officer of Victory Media and a Navy Reserve veteran. “They’re moving the needle beyond ‘why recruit military’ to translating military competencies into training and positive employment after graduation.”
The Guide to Military Friendly® Schools is distributed for free in all military transition classes, as well as throughout U.S. military bases and communities across the globe. The guide reaches hundreds of thousands of transitioning service members, veterans, military spouses, and military transition program managers each month.
RELATED NEWS: Veteran’s Day 2015 Activities — https://www.evangel.edu/press_releases/2015/11/03/veterans-day/