West Virginia University has been widely recognized for its comprehensive commitment to the more than 800 veterans, military personnel and their dependents currently studying at WVU. The University has set a goal to become the most military-friendly campus in the United States.

As part of this effort, WVU is proud to formally recognize current and former military personnel taking part in the 2013 May Commencement. Red, white and blue cords will be made available to service members who show proof of service at one of two locations: the Office of University Events on the third floor of Purinton House and the WVU Veterans Office on the second floor of the Mountainlair. Cords will be available April 24-May 10 during business hours.

“Service to our country is an honorable distinction, and we are proud as a University community to recognize this service by students at our Commencement ceremonies,” said WVU president, Jim Clements.

Jerry McCarthy, interim veterans advocate, added, “This new tradition at WVU gives veterans the opportunity to be recognized for their academic achievements and selfless service. In turn, it embraces WVU’s commitment to diversity and social understanding.”

According to Stephanie Ballard Conrad, director of University Events, the idea of presenting cords to student veterans and military personnel came from Dr. Gina Maiocco and interim dean Dr. Betty Shelton at the School of Nursing.

Chancellor Colenda brought their idea to the University’s senior leadership team and President Clements fully embraced the initiative. He asked our office to make the cords available in time for the 2013 Commencement exercises,” said Ballard Conrad. “We are happy to provide this approved symbol of achievement and pleased to be able to recognize our graduating veterans and military personnel in this way.”

Cords may be worn over academic regalia. Graduating military personnel who choose to wear full military dress to their commencement exercises are still welcome to pick up cords as a keepsake from the University as a tribute to their service.



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CONTACT: Liz Dickinson, Office of University Events
304.293.8025; liz.dickinson@mail.wvu.edu