SRU earns 2017 Military Friendly School designation


ROTC cadets on the training field

Nov. 10, 2016

military friendly logo 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - For the second consecutive year, Slippery Rock University has been named a Military Friendly School by Victory Media, a veteran-owned company that assists individuals in the transition from active service to civilian life.

SRU was recognized for its best practices and support for post-military students.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from Victory Media's proprietary survey. Ratings methodology, criteria and weightings were determined by Victory Media with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution's survey scores with the assessment of the institution's ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and specifically, for student veterans.

"I certainly have picked up on the fact that SRU cares about veterans, active soldiers and cadets," said ROTC cadet Olivia Combs, a social work major from Felton, Delaware.

Combs, who said she expects to be commissioned as an officer and assigned to active duty in May, said she appreciates the University's inclusion of ROTC cadets into events such as Weekend of Welcome.

"I feel good to be at a school that appreciates military personnel," she said. "Not only does the University support us, but students who are not military-affiliated support us as well. The University keeps us involved in many activities and we love helping out."

The University's reverence for veterans is displayed in a variety of ways. In October, the University honored the families of two fallen SRU ROTC graduates who were killed in combat 10 years ago as part of its Military Appreciation Day football game. SRU President Cheryl Norton presented pins to the families of Army Capt. Jason West and Army 2nd Lt. Christopher Loudon during halftime of the game.

SRU operates a Medal of Honor Room in the North Hall Welcome Center that honors the late Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Estocin. Estocin, a 1954 SRU graduate, was killed in combat during the Vietnam War and is SRU's only recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The University partners with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to offer equine-assisted recreational therapy at SRU's Storm Harbor Equestrian Center, and participates in the Telehealth system that enables veterans to connect to the VA's online counseling and support programs. The University also maintains a Veterans Memorial adjacent to the Russell Wright Alumni House.

SRU's Veterans Center, inside the Smith Student Center, assists student veterans in their collegiate pursuits in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Additionally, a student organization, The Military Support Group at Slippery Rock University, offers support for military-affiliated students and soldiers.

SRU will mark Veterans Day with a breakfast from 8:30-10:30 a.m., in the Smith Student Center Ballroom that is open to all veterans and the public on Nov. 11. At 11 a.m., a ceremony will take place at the Veterans Memorial at the Alumni House. State Rep. Jake Wheatley, a former Marine, will be the speaker. The program will include a 21-gun salute, the laying of a wreath and the playing of taps.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 |