University Park, IL,
09:36 AM

Governors State University Places Veterans' Experiences Center Stage

Contact: Angela Denk

Governors State University

Phone: (708) 235.7685



Governors State University Places Veterans’ Experiences Center Stage


For Immediate Release

University Park, IL November 27, 2017 – On Monday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m., a special Town Hall event will be held on the campus of Governors State University. Veterans Speak will focus on U.S. military combat veterans and how the experience of war can be understood and shared through the humanities. This event is the culmination of a semester-long, immersive classroom experience partially funded by a prestigious $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Dialogues on the Experience of War program.

The grant’s authors—Professors Rosemary Johnsen and Andrae Marak—will lead a discussion with five GSU student-veterans on how engaging war-related humanities sources enables veterans to make connections with their own experiences and help others better understand war's impact on those who serve.

“The humanities capture people’s experiences in ways that other things cannot,” Marak said. “In the U.S., we have a volunteer professional military—most of us can be unaffected by war—so if you or a family member are not serving, you’re not likely to run into soldiers in an intimate setting that allows you to talk past the platitudes, customs, and pleasantries embedded in the public discourse on war and trauma. At this town hall, we are creating a space to talk about real, important issues in a way that goes below the surface.”

GSU prides itself on its service to active duty, military-dependent, and veteran students. Through its Veterans Resource Center, led by retired U.S. Coast Guardsman Kevin Smith, the VRC serves as a sanctuary and hub for student-veterans at the university, offering not only camaraderie but connections to critical services and development programs.

The university has received national recognition for its work through the VRC, being named one of the Top Veteran-friendly Schools by U.S. Veterans Magazine for the third consecutive year in 2017. In addition, Military Times put GSU on its Best for Vets 2018 list.

“The work we do for our veterans at GSU is more than a job,” Smith said. “It’s a personal mission for myself and a principled one for the university.”

Smith will host the December 4 event, and it will be live-streamed on social media. Seating is limited.


Governors State University serves 5,200 undergraduate and graduate students with degree programs that prepare them for success in business, industry, healthcare, the arts, and education. As a state university, GSU is committed to providing high-quality, accessible, and responsible higher education opportunities. GSU is located 35 miles south of Chicago in University Park, IL and committed to embracing diversity and academic excellence while transforming student passion into lifelong purpose.