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Dave Johnson, Assistant Director, University Relations
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KU Veterans Center Celebrates Grand Opening and Armed Forces Community Covenant

March 31, 2014

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Kutztown University's Veterans Center invites students, faculty, staff and community members to join them for a grand opening ceremony and open house, on Thursday, April 3, from 11 a.m. to noon in the McFarland Student Union room 250. Light refreshment and dessert will be provided.

State Sen. Judith Schwank, Rep. Gary Day and KU mayor Sandra Green, along with representatives from the offices of Sen. Patrick J. Toomey; Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr.; Rep. Charles Dent; Rep. Matthew Cartwright; Rep. Mark Gillen; Rep. Mark Rozzi; Rep. Michael Tobash; and state Sen. Patrick M. Brown, will convene for an invitation-only meet-and-greet at 10:30 a.m.

To commemorate the event, members of the community will sign the Armed Forces Community Covenant, which outlines six pillars of support for veterans in the areas of education, jobs, health, family, leadership and housing. The pillars have been established by the 'Got Your 6' campaign, as a means to bridge the civilian-military divide in the U.S.

The Community Covenant fosters and sustains state and community partnerships to support service members, veterans and their families. The sixth anniversary of the covenant will be celebrated on April 17. Local officials and KU alumnus Lt. General Richard Zilmer, USMC (Ret.) will attend the covenant signing. 

It is an exciting and unique opportunity for Kutztown University to sign this covenant to help fill gaps and provide alternative resources to local service members and veterans.

Each partner who signs the covenant will represent one of the six pillars. Partners include KU President, Dr. F. Javier Cevallos and representatives from the VFW Post 560 for education; the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve for jobs; the Lebanon VA Medical Center for health; the Community Prevention Partnership of Berks County for family; the Keystone Soldiers for leadership; and Operation Homefront for housing.

The PA Mobile Veterans Outreach Van and Wilson High School JROTC Honor Guard will be present.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening will follow the covenant signing.

Although services for student veterans, service members and their families, military-connected students and KU staff, faculty and alumni veterans have been available at the center since Sept. 2013, new amenities have been added to further serve this population. The center now offers a lounge area, computer stations, TV, refrigerator, microwave and multipurpose table, with an adjacent study center and meeting room. The center is a vital hub where students can study, relax, access computers, meet other veterans and members of the military club and receive assistance with their GI Bill and other benefits.

The Pa. Army National Guard, Reading area U.S. Army Recruiting Center and U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Center works closely with KU to help resolve issues that students who are currently serving might encounter on campus or in their lives. KU is home to active military-focused organizations, including the Military Club at KU and the KU Military and Veterans Affairs Advisory Board. They also collaborate closely with the Berks County Office of Veterans Affairs.