NCC open Vets' Resource Facility

By Brendan Murray

On the even of Veterans Day, Nassau County Community College opened the doors of the Veterans Resource Facility, its newest asset for members of the U.S. Armed Forces studying at the largest single-campus, two year college in the State University of New York system.

"This day is special, this facility that we are opening today is special, and the people who will be served by it, and the purposes it will serve, are special indeed," said Dr. Kenneth K. Sanders, acting president of Nassau Community College; it is a profound day for what it portends for enhancing our ability to serve our student veterans."

Dozens of students, faculty, veterans and local officials were on hand to celebrate the opening of the facility, which occupies 365 Rice Circle, the former home of military officers during Mitchell Field's time as an active military base, was initially proposed by the college's Veterans Club.  It will serve as the official headquarters for the club and all veterans on campus and will offer services such as private counseling service to veterans on campus, outreach events for veterans both on campus and throughout the county.

Veterans Club President Kristofer Goldsmith, a former sergeant in the U.S. Army, said he was grateful to the college for its support of veterans, both in college and throughout the county.

"I'm extremely thankful for the opening of this Veterans Resource Facility here on campus," Goldsmith said.  "With the opening of this Veterans Resource Facility, Nassau Community College is going far beyond saying 'thanks for your service' in the way of the proverbial yellow ribbon.  Nassau Community College is offering real, tangible support for our veterans."

Goldsmith, who helped lead the effort for the Veterans Resource Facility after he and other leaders from the Veterans Club returned from the Student Veterans of America national conference in Phoenix, thanked the college for their quick work in establishing the new facility.

"We asked for a location that would serve to aid veterans in the transition form combat to college careers," Goldsmith said.  "In March of this year we brought this plan to the school, and instead of resistance, we were met with understanding, optimism and excitement from Nassau's Administration.  By September, we were told that a building had been designated, and their promise was to have us in by Veterans Day.  And today, Nassau Community College is making good on that promise."

Dr. Jorge Gardyn, chairman of the college's Board of Trustees, said the center was an answer to the selflessness and dedication of the college's veterans.

"The Veterans Resource Facility is the response that is in the right place at the right time serving the right people, for all the right reasons," Gardyn said.  "It's a response that will offer our student veterans a setting that enhances the opportunity to make the most of the first class education that is offered here at NCC through the work of our dedicated faculty and staff."

Dennis Dunne (R-Levittown), a Nassau County Legislator and former president of the college's veterans club, said that he was glad to see veterans finally have their own space on campus.

"When I was a student and a veteran here at Nassau, they always very supportive, but we did not have a space to call our own, we were essentially asked to assimilate with the rest of the college," he said.  "We were fine with that, but we always wanted and needed our own space where we could talk to and learn from people who shared our experiences.  I'm so grateful that Nassau Community College has shown veterans on campus the respect to give them their own space and resource for them to get some of the assistance they need."

Michael Schmitt, a member of the Veterans Club at the college and a former Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, led the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of Nassau Community College's new Veterans Resource Facility. - photograph by Brendan Murray/Herald Life

 

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Murray, Brendan, "New Veterans Resource Center at NCC", http://liherald.com/stories/New-Veterans-Resource-Center-at-NCC,60613?page=1&content_source= (collected 11-14-2014)

Murray, Brendan, "NCC opens Vet's Resource Facility", Merrick Herald Life, 13 November, p. 17

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