• Will Molidor (left), a veteran and SU graduate who now works in the Admission Office, helps members of the SU Veterans Association place flags outside the chapel for Veterans Day in 2012. Molidor helped Southwestern earn the distinction of being a military-friendly school.

In the past four years, the number of veterans enrolling at Southwestern has steadily increased.

In response to this, the university has been working hard to help these students with their adjustment from civil service to student life.

Those efforts were recognized Sept. 17 when Southwestern was included in the 2014 Guide to Military Friendly Schools®, which is published by veteran-owned Victory Media. Only 15 percent of schools nationwide are included in the guide.

“This title will allow veterans who are searching for a university to see that Southwestern provides a support system and resources for veterans,” said Will Molidor, a veteran and Southwestern graduate who now works in the Admissions Office.

According to Victory Media, there are currently 8 million military members and veterans seeking a school to attend.

Molidor helped Southwestern receive the military-friendly designation by completing a survey that included questions on topics such as veteran graduation rate, tuition assistance, military spouse policies, and military support on campus.

“I think this is a great accomplishment for the school as a whole,” Molidor said. “Having been a veteran from the beginning, I can definitely see the commitment that has been here and the openness to new ideas and new resources.”

Molidor’s job in the Admissions Office includes counseling and assisting veterans going through the application process. Southwestern currently has about 20 veterans enrolled.

Molidor said he thinks Southwestern will take this recognition and use it as a catalyst for even more improvement. In fact, just this month the university is convening a new Veterans Task Force that will provide a forum for representatives from different departments on campus to come together with the veteran students to discuss ways of providing more resources to fit their needs.

“I am so proud to be part of a university that has taken great strides to make us veterans a part of their community,” said Roxanne Wilhite, president of the SU Veterans Association. “I think this award gives Southwestern a step up for veterans who are weighing their options at different schools. First and foremost veterans are patriotic − we love people and organizations that support our fellow veterans.”

Wilhite said the SU Veterans Association will be sponsoring a variety of events during the week of Veterans Day in November to raise awareness of how many veterans and veteran dependents are part of the Southwestern community.

−Maritza Robles