WSU to honor veterans with system‑wide symposium

Military personnel stand and salute during a flag ceremony on the WSU Pullman campus.
The flag ceremony prior to last year's symposium in Pullman.

Elevating the voices of military affiliated students as they look to the future is the goal of Washington State University’s fourth annual Veterans and Military-Affiliated Students (VMAS) Symposium next week.

The symposium will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9, in WSU Vancouver’s Firstenburg Student Commons. The event, which is also open for virtual attendance via Zoom, will bring together vets and military-affiliated students from all campuses within the WSU system.

“As of Fall 2023, military-affiliated students make up more than 4% of our university community. That includes veterans, active-duty military, and their family members,” said Penny Martinez, VMAS manager for WSU Pullman, Global Campus, and Spokane. “That’s a significant portion of our Coug family that deserve special consideration and attention. That’s what this event has always been about.”

The theme for this year’s symposium is “The Way Forward,” and will focus on how military-affiliated students can move in a positive direction both personally and professionally. Speakers include Zeke Crozier, a U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient dedicated to serving the veteran community, and Melissa Boatwright, an Air Force veteran, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker.

The event schedule also includes a roundtable workshop, time to interact with employers interested in hiring veterans, an open discussion session, and an update on new developments within WSU’s VMAS community.

“I think we have a lot to offer this year that can have a real impact on the lives of those in our VMAS community,” said Martinez.

Now in its fourth year, the symposium has been previously held on the WSU Tri-Cities campus, fully online via WSU Global Campus, and on the WSU Pullman campus. It is being held in Vancouver this year, and plans are in motion to continue rotating the venue to include all WSU campuses.

“We’re very proud to be hosting the symposium this year,” said Jaylene Wecks, WSU Vancouver’s veteran affairs coordinator. “We have a very strong military-affiliated student community here in Vancouver, and we’re very happy to share our campus home with our fellow Cougs.”

“Whether you are a military affiliated Coug yourself, or just interested in supporting this great community, I highly encourage you to join us,” she said.

You can register online to attend WSU’s VMAS Symposium in-person or virtually.

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