Manhattan College Earns Gold Status As A Military Friendly School For 2024/2025

Faculty Directors Cite Value of Community Present Throughout the School

Manhattan College today announced its recognition as a Gold Status Military Friendly School for 2024/2025 by The Military Friendly Schools Survey, the longest-running and most comprehensive review of college and university investments in serving military and veteran students.

student veteran on campus in the Veterans CenterAdditionally, in the U.S. News and World Report rankings list Manhattan College ranked 3rd, up from 6th in 2023, among regional master’s degree institutions, continuing the School’s recognition as one that successfully embraces veterans. 

Dr. David Bollert and Dr. Robert Geraci, both faculty in the Department of Religion & Philosophy, co-direct Manhattan College’s Veterans Success Program.  

“We have cultivated a genuine sense of community among our group members,” said Dr. Bollert. “One factor contributing to this is our Veteran Success Center (VSC), a welcoming and centrally-located place on campus where our student veterans can gather, socialize, study, and feel at home. A second factor–one that holds for me, my co-director, and the student veterans themselves–is a conscious effort to get to know one another personally and support one another both inside and outside the classroom. These two factors, the VSC and a mutual interest in knowing and supporting one another, contribute much to the sense of community found in our Veterans Success Program.” 

Echoed Dr. Geraci: “We have developed specific programs for our vets, including a newly-established Equine Assisted Learning program where students work with and care for a horse under the guidance of STABLE: Equine Assisted Learning & Therapy. To help with acclimating to college and civilian life,  the horse program builds confidence, reduces anxiety, and benefits the overall emotional health of the students.” 

As part of the stress-reduction program in RELS 161, the directors also take the students on a mountain retreat each semester, spending time on community building, yoga, and breathing techniques. Additionally, Dr. Bollert and Dr. Geraci host a weekly Open Table at a local Irish pub, providing an opportunity for student veterans to gather for conversation, share stories, and address concerns and challenges in a friendly environment. 

The student veteran community, which includes close to 70 members, benefits the entire Manhattan College campus. For example, student veterans sometimes draw upon their military experience during classroom discussions, providing their peers who have not served with a different perspective for considering the topic at hand. Additionally, the maturity, discipline, and dedication to service embodied by many student veterans are worthy characteristics for all Jaspers to emulate. Finally, as a testament to the quality and impact of the student veterans at the school, this year’s undergraduate valedictorian is James Washington, who served in the U.S. Army. In addition to excelling in the classroom, Mr. Washington served as an officer in the Student Veteran Organization, a senator in student government, and a leader in several other campus groups. 

“I am particularly pleased and proud of the accomplishments of our student veterans,” said Milo Riverso, Ph.D., President of Manhattan College.  “Their perspectives and insights add to the overall dimension of community that is so important to all of us at the College.  We are thrilled to see our rising in the rankings of military friendly schools.”

By MC Staff