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Milestones of Commitment

Celebrating our long-standing dedication to veterans and the military-connected through the years.

Exterior of the NVRC building on a summer day.

The National Veterans Resource Center, at the Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello building, was formally dedicated on November 3, 2021.

Syracuse University’s commitment and connection to veterans runs deep. For much of its 150 years, the University has been a proud supporter of veterans and military-connected individuals and families. Through the years, as their needs evolved, the University has responded with unique programs and opportunities to benefit those who served their country and the loved ones who supported them. From ROTC to special degrees and dedicated buildings, Syracuse University is committed to being the best place for veterans.

In his 2014 inauguration speech, Chancellor Kent Syverud recognized the importance of this commitment. “I believe Syracuse University must once again become the best place for veterans. We have the capacity, we have the opportunity, to be the best in the world at providing opportunity and empowerment to the veterans of our armed forces and their families.”

Learn about some of the milestones in Syracuse University’s long history of supporting veterans:

A History of Opportunities

Woman in military fatigues sitting in front of vehicle giving a thumbs up.

Syracuse University established its Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. in 1918 with the Army ROTC program; the Air Force ROTC program was established nearly 30 years later.

ROTC and World War I. Syracuse University is home to the longest continuous running U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program in the U.S. In 1918, the University joined the Student Army Training Corps during World War I, which was transformed into ROTC the following year.

In 1946, the University’s Air Force ROTC program was created as one of the original 77 Air ROTC units established by then Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

World War II and the GI Bulge. During World War II, Syracuse University created the War Service College to offer training programs that prepared military and nonmilitary students for serving the war effort.

In an archival photo dating to WWII era, a group of soldiers walk across campus.

In 1946, the University welcomed more than 9,000 World War II veterans to campus with the help of the GI Bill. Photo courtesy of Syracuse University Archives.

At the end of the war, Chancellor William Tolley helped author the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944—commonly known as the GI Bill—which covered tuition and expenses for returning veterans and became one of the most important developments at Syracuse University in the second half of its history. In 1946, the University welcomed more than 9,000 returning World War II veterans, which quickly more than doubled student enrollment and became known as the “GI Bulge.”

Post-9/11 GI Bill. After the attacks on September 11, 2001 and subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Post-9/11 GI Bill was created to offer educational opportunities for those who served. Syracuse University is a member of the Yellow Ribbon program to cover expenses beyond what’s covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Dedicated Support and Spaces for Veterans

View of IVMF from above, at dusk.

The National Veterans Resource Center opened in 2020 and was formally dedicated on November 3, 2021. It is home to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, the Office of Veteran Success, Veteran Career Services and both Army and Air Force ROTC programs.

Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). In 2011, Syracuse University opened the IVMF, the nation’s first interdisciplinary academic institute focused on advancing the lives of the nation’s military veterans and their families. The IVMF offers a number of national career preparation and entrepreneurship training programs. It also conducts research and policy analysis, and provides technical assistance and support, to address specific concerns of veterans and military families.

The 10-year anniversary of IVMF was marked with the formal dedication of the National Veterans Resource Center (NVRC) on November 3, 2021.

IVMF’s national AmericaServes was launched in 2015 to help veterans and their families navigate and access services faster and more efficiently in their communities. In 2021, SyracuseServes, the Syracuse-based network of AmericaServes, was established in partnership with the City of Syracuse as a community-based collaborative and care-coordination center helping Central New York veterans and their families get to the right provider in the most efficient amount of time.

Portrait of a group of people standing in a row, smiling.

AmericaServes, a national initiative of IVMF launched a Syracuse network in 2021 to connect veterans and their families to local community providers, to ensure care, resources and services are easily navigable.

National Veterans Resource Center. In November 2021, the formal dedication was held for the Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello Building. It’s home to the National Veterans Resource Center (NVRC), which functions as the center of veteran life on campus, in the community and across Central New York. The NVRC is home to IVMF, the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA), the Office of Veteran Success, Veteran Career Services, Army and Air Force ROTC, and has collaborative space for research and programming.

Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA). In 2015, OVMA was established to serve as the University’s single point of entry for all veteran and military-related programs and initiatives, offering assistance and support throughout student veterans’ time at the University. OVMA hosts the Warrior-Scholar Project, a weeklong academic boot camp for first-year student veterans.

Four men sitting in a class room with books on a table.

The Office for Veteran and Military Affairs hosts the Warrior-Scholar Project, a weeklong academic boot camp for first-year student veterans.

Office of Veteran Success. In 2009, the office was established to provide a dedicated lounge and study space for student veterans, and to help veterans navigate benefits and other U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs matters.

Student Veterans Organization. Many student veterans credit the organization with helping build a sense of community as they transition to student life and build lifelong relationships.

Academic Programs for Veterans and Military-Connected

Army Comptrollership Program. The program was established in 1952 and renamed to the Defense Comptrollership Program in 2006. It leads to a masters of business administration and an executive master of public administration—from the Whitman School and Maxwell School, respectively—for employees pursuing careers as comptrollers or resources managers with the Department of Defense.

Portrait of Shannon Smith '21 sitting at an open door of a plane in the sky, with a camera, smiling.

Petty Officer 1st Class Shannon Smith ’21 is a graduate of the military visual journalism program. Her first deployment was on an aircraft carrier where she took photos and wrote stories.

Military Visual Journalism Program. In 1963, the program was established at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications by Korean War veteran and photography professor Fred Demarest to help the U.S. Navy improve the quality of military photojournalism. The military motion media course for broadcast journalism was added in 1992.

National Security Studies. In 1996, the Maxwell School established the program, offering premier professional development for senior civilian and military executives in the public and private sectors.

Institute for Security Policy and Law. In 2003, the College of Law, the Maxwell School, and other University colleges and departments collaborated to create the institute, which focuses on interdisciplinary research and policy analysis in security and counterterrorism.

U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence. Qualified information system managers and telecommunication engineers pursue master’s degrees in information management or telecommunications and network management at the School of Information Studies through the center.

Undergraduate Trauma Research Training. The program improves undergraduate researchers’ access to veterans, who are typically underrepresented in research.

United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA) Fellowship Program. The USASMA Fellowship Program program selects highly qualified sergeants major candidates every year to attain a master’s degree in instructional design, development and evaluation from the School of Education.

Business Programs for Veterans

Starting in the early aughts, Syracuse University began offering several business-related programs for veterans and military-connected families.

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities. The Whitman School established the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities in 2007, which offers cutting-edge experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans with service-related disabilities. In 2011, it added the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families for military family members who are full-time caregivers to a wounded warrior and for spouses of those who lost their lives in service.

Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship. The training program in entrepreneurship and small business management, launched in 2011, teaches women veterans and military spouses/partners the business skills to turn an idea or startup into a growing venture.

Onward to Opportunity. The program was established in 2011 and provides free training for veterans aspiring to careers in technology and operations in large corporations.

Boots to Business. This program was launched in 2014 to provide veterans and military-connected individuals the foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan.

Veterans Legal Clinic

Four people looking at a display of military artifacts behind glass.

Student interns at the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic in the College of Law provide pro bono services to veterans from New York state.

The Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic was founded in 2014 to provide representation to veterans and their families seeking benefits from the Department of Veteran Affairs or upgrading a military discharge through the various military branches. Among the clinic’s staff are College of Law students who provide pro bono services to veterans from New York state.

Lisa Maresca

This story was published on .


Also of Interest

  • Institute for Veterans and Military Families

    The IVMF at Syracuse University is higher education’s first interdisciplinary academic institute, singularly focused on advancing the post-service lives of the nation’s military veterans and their families to serve those who have served.

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