University of Oregon to open Student Veterans Center

EUGENE, Ore. -- (April 9, 2013) – The University of Oregon will celebrate the opening of its new Student Veterans Center at the Erb Memorial Union (EMU) on Saturday, April 20.  The center will provide a dedicated space for student veterans and their families to gather at the university.

The public opening, scheduled from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., will include a ribbon cutting and remarks by Jonathan Brunton, co-director of the UO Veterans and Family Student Association; Michael Dakduk, executive director of Student Veterans of America, based in Washington D.C.; and Robin Holmes, vice president for Student Affairs at UO.

According to event organizers, the center fulfills an original purpose of the EMU when then-UO President Donald Erb foresaw the return of WWII veterans to campus and worked with state officials to build the student union that was named in his honor.

The Student Veterans Center was established through gifts from Alan and Jean Pedersen, Lease Crutcher Lewis and Office World, and will complement existing programs and services for nontraditional and veteran students. Nontraditional student programs collaborate with the Office of Veterans Affairs and the veterans program coordinator to provide information and resources for UO student veterans and their families.

Campus resources for student veterans include the Veterans and Family Student Association, comprised of veterans who have served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, as well as their families. The VFSA organizes several events throughout the year including Veterans Awareness Week in November, the Veteran Memorial Ball in May and the student veteran graduation ceremony in June.

Another program, Dog Tags to Ducks, helps new student veterans learn about campus resources by connecting them with those who have been on campus for a year or more.

The celebration will take place in the EMU Amphitheater, weather permitting, or in the EMU Taylor Lounge.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Brown, UO communications, 541-346-3185,

Note: The University of Oregon is equipped with an on-campus television studio with satellite uplink capacity, and a radio studio with an ISDN phone line for broadcast-quality radio interviews.