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Press Release for Thursday, September 12, 2013

UNF Named Military Friendly School for Fifth Consecutive Year

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2102


For the fifth consecutive year, UNF has been named one of the most military friendly schools in the United States by G.I. Jobs magazine. The 2014 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members and student veterans.


The 1,739 colleges, universities and trade schools on the 2014 list prioritize the recruitment of students with military experience. These schools are recognized for offering scholarships, discounts, veterans clubs, full-time staff, military credit and other services dedicated to their military veterans populations.


 “The Military and Veterans Resource Center is extremely proud of our fifth consecutive year of receiving a military-friendly school designation—among the top in the nation,” said Ray Wikstrom, director of UNF’s Military and Veterans Resource Center. “It’s a culmination of many dedicated staff hours to ensure UNF Osprey veterans receive the very best services, resources and special programming to assist them in their transition from combat to the classroom to meaningful employment.”


In 2009, UNF established a Task Force and received a grant for more than $200,000 from the Florida Braive Fund at The Community Foundation in Jacksonville, which allowed the University to establish the MVRC on campus. With renovated spaces, the Center opened its doors in August 2010, with approximately 180 student veterans graduating each of the last few years.


The Center’s mission is to provide a broad range of student services and resources focused on the unique needs of today’s military veterans, service members and their families in order to enhance their smooth transition from the military environment to campus life, leading to academic success, graduation and employment opportunities. The Center offers extended hours and is actively seeking additional scholarships, grants and employment opportunities to foster a mutually-beneficial partnership with the business community to increase networking and services for career exploration.


Additionally, UNF started offering the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corp, an educational program of leadership and military skills training, on campus in 2009. The UNF program, called “The Fighting Osprey Company,” gives students a chance to get Army training while in college.


The 2014 Military Friendly Schools list was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 Veterans Administration-approved schools nationwide. G.I. Jobs developed the list’s methodology; criteria and scoring for the list were established with the assistance of an academic advisory board consisting of educators from schools across the country.


UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.