Western Oregon University Chapter Named National Student Veteran Chapter of the Year

WOU student veterans of america accepting national chapter of the year awardThree of WOU SVA's chapter leaders and the club's advisor accepted the award at the SVA national conference. From left: Shane Follett (WOU SVA president), Jeremy Bulluss (WOU SVA vice president), Laura Pettyjohn (WOU SVA communication officer, Andrew Holbert (SVA chapter adviser and director of the Veterans Resource Center).

Western Oregon University’s Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter won the Chapter of the Year award Jan. 6, 2018, at the organization’s national conference in San Antonio.

Student Veterans of America is a national organization based in Washington, D.C., that is committed to veteran welfare and ensuring that today’s and tomorrow’s veterans are supported in their transition to education and employment. The organization comprises more than 1,300 chapters across the country, making the WOU chapter’s honor all the more significant.

In addition, WOU Veterans Services Coordinator Andrew Holbert was among five finalists for the SVA’s Advisor of the Year award. Student Shane Follett is the president of the campus SVA chapter.

“It is an honor for Western Oregon University Student Veterans of America to be chosen as the chapter of the year,” said Holbert. “The WOU chapter made it the goal to better the community both on and off campus since the chapter’s inception about two years ago. The administration has been an important part of this mission and success in leaving the community ‘better than they found it’.”

WOU’s Veterans Services also was awarded an $86,700 grant in December from the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs to enhance its Veterans Resource Center (VRC). The Campus Veteran Resource Center Grant Program was created in 2017 by SB 143 and aims to expand existing resources by funding innovative and impactful programs. Holbert expects the funds to be used for staging events, training students and staff and VRC renovations.

“WOU Veterans Services is an integral part of our campus, serving and supporting student veterans to ensure their success and graduation,” said President Rex Fuller. “The fact that our students and leaders have won these honors serves to underscore their importance to our WOU community. Veterans succeed at Western Oregon University because of the outstanding efforts of this department.”

Eight members of the WOU SVA chapter attended the national conference Jan. 4-6, meeting key leaders in the organization and bringing home a plaque that highlights their recognition. For more information about WOU Veterans Services, visit wou.edu/veterans.