Appalachian wins award for military friendly schools


The Appalachian Online

Halie Hamilton

Appalachian State recently received the Military Friendly School award for the fourth consecutive year.

Appalachian is a Gold Award winner, which is the second highest honor the organization gives.

“Being a Military Friendly School means that we strive to work with our student veterans in any way possible to ease their transition from the service into higher ed,” Eric Gormly, coordinator of Student Veteran Services at Appalachian State, said. “This can range from working with students on their GI Bill, all the way to providing personal and educational resources for students in need.”

The Military Friendly website said that they provide service members and their families with information they need to make decisions about careers and education opportunities.

“Since my time here in June of 2016 I have seen great strides by both faculty and staff on campus to welcome these veteran students to our campus and make them feel at home,” Gormly said. “From priority registration for student veterans, all the way to the Student Veteran Resource Center that opened on Nov. 2016, you can see the commitment that App State has to serving those who have served.”

Gormly said that there are many people on campus who advocate for the student veterans and are the forefront of their interactions with the school.

“Appalachian has a Military Affairs Committee that has representatives from all over the campus who get together and brainstorm and implement ideas that can help support the student veterans on campus,” Gormly said.

Geralyn Mitchell, assistant director at the Career Development Center, said she works with student veterans and ROTC as a career counselor, helping translate military experiences onto a civilian resume and turning their sometimes lengthy careers into topics they can discuss in interviews.

Mitchell said receiving the award shows potential students that Appalachian works to help veterans transition into a successful civilian life

“To me it means that we are working to help a group of men and women who have given more than most, to feel at home at App, and I am proud to be able to be a part of that,” Mitchell said.

Appalachian completed a survey offered by Victory Media, who awards the Military Friendly designation. Gormly said the survey was 37 pages and took about three weeks to complete.

“As a veteran myself, it warms my heart to see a place that provides such support to my fellow brothers and sisters in arms,” Gormly said. “The military is a very unique culture that is made up of people from all different cultures, and when a university recognizes and embraces that, it is really special.”

Story by: Halie Hamilton, News Reporter