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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

University of Southern Indiana receives $95K grant for student veterans

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Wendy Knipe Bredhold
Media Relations Specialist, News & Information Services
812/461-5259
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The University of Southern Indiana will use a $95,000 grant from Operation Diploma, an initiative of the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University, to develop programs and policies designed to boost academic success of student service members and veterans on campus.

The grant was part of more than $1 million that MFRI awarded, through its Operation Diploma initiative, to 25 Indiana post-secondary institutions of higher education. The colleges and universities all proposed ways to enhance services at their campuses for the state's student service members, veterans, and their families.

USI's award will be used to create and expand programs and services offered to student veterans. "These programs and services seek to engage student veterans in campus life as well as the Evansville community and support the attainment of their educational goals," said Sandy Frank, registrar and director of Veterans Support Services.

This is the second year the University has received the grant. In the 2009-2010 year, USI received $50,000 from MFRI.

Launched with a $5.8 million gift from Lilly Endowment Inc., Operation Diploma empowers Indiana's post-secondary institutions and student veterans organizations to better serve student service members and veterans entering college for the first time, and those re-entering college after extended service or deployment.

Since 2009, Operation Diploma has awarded more than $2.4 million to Indiana colleges and universities, who have used the funds to produce more effective and supportive services or expand them for these students. This year, institutions submitted competitive proposals for grants of up $100,000.

"This year's proposals demonstrate that we are entering a new phase of campus recognition and support," said Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, director of MFRI. "Schools are building on their successes to reach for even higher goals and attracting the attention of their neighbor and peer institutions in the process."

The Military Family Research Institute is a research and outreach organization based at Purdue University, supported by Lilly Endowment Inc., the Department of Defense, and others. Through it, Operation Diploma was created.



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