NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 11, 2013

SSU 'ahead of its time'

Salem State growing reputation as veteran-friendly campus

SALEM — Tara Nolan was a first-semester freshman at Salem State University when she found out she was being deployed to Iraq.

Although it was past the deadline to withdraw from classes, the college worked to ensure Nolan, an Air Force reservist, wouldn’t receive a failing grade.

That’s just one of the many ways Nolan and her classmates say Salem State is building a reputation as veteran-friendly. The university has introduced a wealth of veterans programming and services on campus as veterans enrollment has risen steadily in recent years.

“Before that, you would never know who was a veteran (on campus),” Nolan said. “We (veterans) are kind of like a family now. We hang out off campus, do activities together.”

Seventy-five veterans will graduate from SSU this month, which is more than double the number of veterans in the Class of 2012. The college anticipates graduating roughly 1,850 graduate and undergraduate students this year.

Earlier this week, SSU held a ceremony to award each veteran a stole to wear at graduation and a citation from the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization.

Salem State is “ahead of its time” in its support of veterans — from pairing veterans with upperclassmen mentors to allowing veterans to enroll in classes early to jump-start the complicated process of tuition reimbursement through the GI Bill, said Philip Lippens, a 35-year-old Army veteran who will graduate with a psychology major this month.

Nolan, 24, said SSU professors and staff have been more than accommodating, allowing her to do makeup work or take exams early or later than her classmates as she’s had to leave for days or weeks at a time for training and military commitments during her time at SSU.

“I can’t say I’ve ever had a professor really give me a hard time,” said Nolan.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Special Features