NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University’s Veterans Resource Center hosted its inaugural veteran’s graduation luncheon Wednesday, May 3, in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Twilight Ballroom to honor military-connected students graduating this month.
This is one of several new initiatives begun by Stesha Colby-Lynch, the newly appointed VRC program director, who said she is working to build up a veteran support network on campus.
The luncheon recognized 15 veterans, those currently in active duty, reservists, members of the U.S. National Guard and those commissioned in ROTC. The recognition included a presentation of their graduation stole; a red, white and blue honor cord; and a VRC challenge coin. Additionally, military-connected faculty and staff were in attendance, along with the families and chosen mentors of the recipients. Mentors also were presented a VRC challenge coin.
The VRC coin is a two-inch metal coin with the SFA logo on one side and the VRC logo on the other. Traditionally, similar coins are given during special events and given by high-ranking officials in recognition of good work.
“I felt that it was important to have a more ceremonious way to present them with their regalia and celebrate their accomplishments with family and friends,” Colby-Lynch said. “I also felt that it was important for the students to be able to nominate a mentor to be honored as well.”
The ceremony began with a brief introduction by Colby-Lynch, who then presented graduates with their regalia. After the ceremony, attendees were free to eat and mingle.
Students who chose not to participate could pick up their regalia at the VRC the week of graduation. Online students and those in satellite locations had regalia mailed to them.
For more information about the VRC, contact Colby-Lynch at Stesha.Colby-Lynch@sfasu.edu.