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GWU President Addresses National Conference on Vounteering and Service

President GWU Steven Knapp

GW President Steven Knapp: Veterans Enrich Our Colleges and Universities Dr. Knapp Addresses National Conference on Volunteering and Service in New York JUN 28, 2010

NEW YORK- Enrolling in college can help veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan transition back to civilian life, George Washington University President Steven Knapp told attendees at a national conference on service.

"Veterans richly deserve the opportunities that higher education provides," said Dr. Knapp, who was part of a panel made up of high level military and veterans organization officials.

"At the same time, the experience and perspective they bring to campus greatly enrich the education of their fellow students."Dr. Knapp spoke today at the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service held in New York City. He took part in the panel "All Volunteer Force: Enlisting Our Newest Generation of Volunteers" along with keynote speaker GW alumnus U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), B.A. '77, HON '03, and L. Tammy Duckworth, M.A. '92, GW alumna and assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The panel focused on veterans' transition back home and the ways that veterans continue to serve their country through volunteering in their communities. The forum was built on a national survey, titled "All Volunteer Force: From Military to Civilian Service," about returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, which showed veterans who volunteer have an easier transition back into civilian life.

The report also recommended that colleges support veterans returning to campuses and make special efforts to engage them in leading or participating in community service activities.

The George Washington University has a long commitment to serving veterans. It is named after the nation's most famous veteran, and it enrolled the first recipient of the 1944 GI Bill-Don A. Balfour.

The University is one of the leading participants in the Yellow Ribbon Program, part of the GI Bill passed after 9/11, which provides returning veterans with enhanced access to private colleges and universities. Veterans who qualify at GW receive about a 71 percent discount on full-time graduate tuition and a free undergraduate education.

In 2010-11, GW has budgeted up to $2.8 million for the program, which will be matched by the Veterans Administration. Last year, more than 160 GW student veterans participated in the Yellow Ribbon Program.The University's Office of Veteran Services offers several service and program initiatives to assist student veterans in their transition to the higher education environment.

Two veteran services coordinators serve as liaisons to student veterans and help them acclimate to college life. Each fall, incoming student veterans participate in a customized orientation session intended to build community among student veterans, connect student veterans to the GW community, introduce GW student veterans to key University resources and address questions.

The university also has offered special programs such as a campaign training boot camp for veterans interested in running for public office.In the heart of the nation's capital with additional programs in Virginia,

The George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. The University offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study, as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 130 countries.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Michelle Sherrard - 202-994-1423 - mcs1@gwu.edu Courtney Bowe - 202-994-5631 - cmbowe@gwu.edu