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Columbia College honors military servicemembers with flag raising

(COLUMBIA, Mo.) -- Columbia College held its second Military Recognition Day on Thursday, May 21, beginning with an 11 a.m. flag raising ceremony on Bass Commons featuring an American flag from Naval Air Station Lemoore in California. Columbia College has a campus on NAS Lemoore and has been educating sailors and military family members there since 2001. Cadets representing the college's ROTC programs raised the flag, which flew on the college's flagpole on Bass Commons, and was accompanied by remarks from President Gerald Brouder and Tery Donelson, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management. The event also featured patriotic music from Nollie Moore, director of the Jane Froman Singers. College students, faculty, staff and community members were in attendance.

After the flag raising, guests were invited to attend the ribbon cutting of a new Veterans Service Center in Missouri Hall 224, followed by refreshments and a testimonial from a student veteran. The center is a one-stop shop for student servicemember admissions, transcripts, registration, certifying VA benefits, career services and more. The center also has a disability services coordinator to better accommodate veterans with disabilities. The center has been planned for years, and opened in advance of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides unprecedented educational benefits for servicemembers beginning in August.

"The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides an expanded range of educational benefits for servicemembers, and we want to ensure we do everything we can to provide the very best educational experience for these men and women in uniform," said Donelson, a retired lieutenant colonel. "This center is a symbol of our commitment to military education, and I hope more veterans will see Columbia College as the military-friendly institution it is."

Military Recognition Day commemorates the nearly four decades that Columbia College has served military members and their families. In 1970, the college began offering classes tailored to men and women in the military. The military student population has since blossomed to one in three of the college's nearly 25,000 students worldwide; 18 of the college's 35 Nationwide Campuses are located on military installations. In 2008, Columbia College was named one of the top 20 military-friendly institutions in the country by Military Advanced Education.