A Commitment to Veterans: Past, Present, and Future

Medal of Honor Recipient, Col. Jack H. Jacobs, Speaks at St. John’s Staten Island Campus
November 9, 2018

Veterans Day celebrates the millions of men and women who answered their country’s call to serve in its armed forces. At St. John’s University, Veterans Day holds a special meaning, as more than 300 military veterans are currently enrolled in classes; scores more have earned their degrees and made a positive impact on society. 

On Monday, November 5, the University kicked off Veterans Week, a series of events to honor and celebrate the men and women who have served our nation. The week began with a trip to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and included a screening and discussion of the documentary, “Almost Sunrise,” which follows two veterans as they walk cross-country in search of spiritual healing. At both the Queens and Staten Island campuses, wreath laying ceremonies were held in honor of fallen soldiers.

The celebration culminates on Monday, November 12, with the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan.

Recently, the University welcomed Col. Jack H. Jacobs to the Staten Island campus, where he served as keynote speaker at the Sixth Annual Military Heroes Dinner. The dinner, hosted by the Rho-Sigma, the University’s chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, raised more than $2,000 for the Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s Military Heroes Campaign, which supports ongoing care for military veterans and their families.

In his address, Col. Jacobs, a recipient of the Medal of Honor—the nation’s highest medal for valor in combat—spoke of the importance of patriotism and challenged students to take an active role in preserving the role of the United States as the leader of the free world.

Col. Jacobs has also been awarded three Bronze stars, two Silver stars, and two Purple Hearts for his service during multiple tours of duty in Vietnam. He can frequently be seen on NBC News and MSNBC as an on-air military analyst.

Proceeds from the dinner will support Veterans Moving Forward Inc., an organization that raises and provides service dogs for veterans; the SEAL Legacy Foundation, which provides support to families of wounded and fallen United States Navy SEALs; and the Veteran Success Resource Group, which provides professional and personal resources for veterans and their families.

The University’s support of veterans and this military is long-standing. Founded 50 years ago, the Red Storm Battalion of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at St. John’s has commissioned more than 700 officers who have proudly served in the United States Army during every armed conflict since the Vietnam War, as well as in many peacekeeping and humanitarian missions throughout the world.

In 2015, with the goal of assisting student veterans in successfully transitioning from military service to college life, the University opened the St. John’s University Veterans Success Center. There, student veterans can take advantage of tutoring, career advisement, networking opportunities, and other services.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) selected St. John’s to participate in VITAL (Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership), an outreach program providing additional services for student veterans. 

In 2017, the University received two distinguished awards for the outstanding resources it provides to veterans. St. John’s was selected as a “Top School” in the Military Advanced Education & Transition (MAE&T)’s 2018 Guide to Colleges & Universities research study. The University was similarly honored as a Top-10 Gold-level Military Friendly® School Award recipient for 2017 by Victory Media, which acknowledges the University’s “demonstrated positive employment and education outcomes for veterans and their families.”

St. John's also offers Service Scholarships to the sons and daughters of members of our nation's military who are in active duty, retired, or who have died in the line of duty, so that they too,  have the opportunity to succeed and serve.