University Park, IL,
16:57 PM

Fifth Annual SALUTE Induction and Student Cording Ceremony

Governors State University celebrated 25 student veterans who have served their country and are now set to graduate college—many with advanced degrees—during the 5th Annual SALUTE and Military Connected Student Cording Ceremony.

“We have veterans represented in every single college and at every level throughout this university,’’ said an emotional Kevin Smith, Director of Veterans Resource Center at GSU, which has been named A Top Veteran Friendly School by “U.S. Veterans Magazine.”

Dan Wellman of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs encouraged the student veterans, seated before their loved ones on the stage of the Center for Performing Arts, to put their education to use in their communities.

“You succeeded here. …You’ve served your nation. Now, continue to serve others,’’ he said.

Wellman joined GSU VIPs and others to drape the soon-to-be graduates with red, white, and blue cords. High achieving veterans also received crisp, white stoles as part of an induction into SALUTE, the nation’s only honor society that recognizes the academic achievements of student veterans.

Explaining the meaning behind each letter in SALUTE, Brigadier General (ret.) Stephen K. Curda, Executive Director of Illinois Joining Forces, commended the students for exemplifying service, academics, leadership, unity, tribute, and excellence.

“I am humbled and honored to here,’’ he said. “On behalf of our 625,000 veterans in the state of Illinois. ... thank you all.”

GSU President Elaine P. Maimon ended the ceremony by recognizing student veterans’ leadership on campus.

“You do so much to show an example for our students… You bring a commitment to the public good, and I want to thank you. I want to congratulate you. I want to salute you.”