UNCG opened its arms to veterans and military personnel Tuesday afternoon, with the Veterans and Military Expo in EUC.
“It’s certainly wonderful that UNCG is holding this on this great campus,” said Sen. Kay Hagan, who serves on the U.S. Senate’s Armed Services Committee.
She noted the skills that veterans possess. “We now need to transition those to civilian life.”
She stressed jobs. And she stressed the need for education and training.
“I can think of no more capable workforce than our returning veterans,” she said.
Chancellor Linda P. Brady welcomed, as well, those attending the expo.
She noted UNCG’s long history of support to veterans, going back to World War II and [future nursing dean] Pattie Lewis’ service in nursing and the 1945 faculty Veterans’ Education Committee assisting the women returning to campus.
She thanked the military personnel for their service, and she thanked the many organizations and individuals offering advice and services at the expo resource fair later in the afternoon. “Without your participation, this expo would not have been possible.”
She made special note of Marty Noe, who also welcomed those attending. Noe is a sophomore at UNCG, after a career of more than 20 years in the Navy.
A panel discussion on educations, jobs and workforce development was led by Dr. Robert Brown (Division of Continual Learning); Ed Frye, (GTCC); Major Myle Hammond (Office of Sen. Kay Hagan) ; Mark Haupt (NC Vet Biz); and Roger Shackleford (NC Department of Commerce).
Brown said that UNC system offers 61 undergraduate degree programs online. Online courses can be very helpful for those managing deployments. Military personnel or families interested in learning more may visit online.northcarolina.edu/military. He added that UNCG offers about a dozen online.
One of those asking a question, about benefits, was student Keyonna Fairley. A Veterans Administration official in the audience responded to her question.
After the session, Fairley, who has served in the Navy nine years, spoke about her education. She has taken classes at two other universities and received an associates degree from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, but “this is the best college I’ve been to,” she said.
She plans to major in Business Administration.
At the resource fair, Dedrick Curtis stood at the Registrar’s Office booth. Curtis helped in organizing the expo. He served in the Navy from 1998-2004.
He noted that about 130 had attended the discussion.
Vendors filled three rooms in EUC, ranging from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to the Citizen Soldier Support Program, from the UNCG Wellness Center to UNCG Career Services.
Visual: Sen. Kay Hagan speaks at the expo.
By Mike Harris
Photography by David Wilson