Office of the President

November 3, 2014

Saluting our servicemen and servicewomen

Michael K. Young

At the University of Washington, we strive to remember our veterans not just during Veterans Appreciation Week, but year-round. Across our campuses, monuments honoring those who have served greet us: the Medal of Honor Memorial; the 58 sycamore trees lining Memorial Way, reminding us of the UW students and faculty who lost their lives during World War I in service to our country; and the central flagpole bearing the names of students, faculty and staff who never returned to the UW from the battlefields of World War II.

These tangible symbols remind us of the intangible values our United States veterans have worked — and valiantly fought — to uphold. Values including freedom, peace, opportunity and justice. They help us reflect on the meaning of courage, selflessness and determination.

But we know that monuments and our words of gratitude alone are not enough. Across the University, we are working to strengthen and expand programs to better support our veterans as they embark on the next phase of their journey.

There are more than 40 programs for veterans, active-duty military and their dependents across the UW’s three campuses.For instance, at UW Tacoma — which Victory Media designated as a military-friendly school for the fourth year in a row — the Veterans Incubator for Better Entrepreneurship program, or VIBE, is engaging veterans with entrepreneurial talent. The program recognizes veterans’ unique leadership and problem-solving skills and empowers them to pursue their own businesses.

 

Also at UW Tacoma, we’re responding to the growing demand from the public and private sectors for professionals who can deal with cyber threats. This year, the Milgard School of Business partnered with the UW Tacoma Institute of Technology to launch a new master’s degree in cybersecurity and leadership. It was developed as a direct response to the needs of the military community — and our nation.

At UW Bothell, a recently developed course is successfully helping veterans navigate the transition from military life to academic life.And the UW School of Law is working with the Northwest Justice Project to start a veterans law clinic to address legal needs in areas of veteran’s administration and mental health, housing, consumer issues and family law.

As students and teachers, faculty and staff, neighbors and friends, we are all enriched by our veteran and military community. And so it is of vital importance that we support veterans through research that will positively impact people’s lives and help us create a world of good. To give just one example, through projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, the UW School of Nursing is contributing to pain management research at Madigan Army Hospital at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Various UW organizations, including researchers in the UW School of Public Health, have created PEARLS, a national evidence-based treatment program for depression. While the program has focused primarily on senior populations, it is now expanding to treat older veterans in King County as well.

Through all of these collective efforts, we are proud to be ranked No. 2 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s listing of the Best Colleges for Veterans.

Yet, we are not complacent. We will continue to do more to support our veterans, active-military service members and their families through research as well as educational and employment opportunities. On behalf of the entire University, thank you to all Husky veterans for your service, leadership and commitment to our country and our communities.