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BU veterans support center marks five years

Bellevue Leader - 6/11/2018

An Army National Guard major general who is a 2006 graduate of Bellevue University spoke Friday at ceremonies marking the fifth anniversary of the founding of the university's Military Veterans Service Center.

Maj. Gen. Michael Navrkal spoke during the ceremonies, along with Mary Hawkins, president of Bellevue University.

Navrkal earned a master of science degree in security management from Bellevue University in 2006.

Hawkins has been president of the university since 2009 and has held leadership roles at the school for almost 23 years.

Hawkins said Bellevue University's relationship with the military reaches back to its founding in 1966 by a group of civic leaders that included World War II Marine fighter pilot Bill Brooks.

She said that long relationship was recently recognized when the university was designated a Purple Heart University.

"We're so proud of that," she said.

Navrkal described the center as "a safe, wonderful place for veterans to come to not only study and learn but to take care of those other needs that they may have."

He said the university's collaboration with the U.S. military, the high quality of the education it provides and the care it takes of veterans at the veterans center makes it a valued partner.

"When you take a look at all of the teammates and fellow organizations that are part of this center it really says a lot," he said.

"We in the military need a community of support, and this is just a wonderful example of that."

The center, which sits atop Harvell Drive west of the university's administration building, was dedicated in 2013 as part of the school's outreach to military veterans.

According to J.R. Richardson, director of the center, "thousands" of veterans have received guidance while pursuing veterans benefits or higher education.


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