Another fine article on war, veterans and education from Wick Sloane ’76 writing in Inside Higher Ed. Read the whole thing, but here is the only Williams mention.

In helping a Bunker Hill Iraq veteran who will attend Dartmouth College this fall, I had communicated with James Wright, president of Dartmouth. Wright, an ex-Marine, has been visiting wounded veterans in Washington hospitals with James Selbe, another ex-Marine leading veterans’ issues for the American Council on Education. ACE last month had a two-day summit, “Serving Those Who Serve: Higher Education and America’s Veterans (see related essay). Dartmouth has wounded veterans attending.

The public institutions are in the lead. I rounded up the usual suspects from the privates, to see if any were following Jim Wright’s lead.

From Princeton: “The University has no records of current American students who are veterans of wars. While we have students who receive veterans benefits, they do so as dependents of service members, rather than as service members who served in the military. Our office of financial aid hasn’t processed any GI Bill benefits in recent memory (dating back the past two decades approximately).” Yale has not yet replied. Yale president Rick Levin and Joel Podolny, Dean of the School of Management, about a year ago, ignored my several queries asking if Yale was recognizing alumni or students who were veterans. From Williams: “As far as we know, we do not have any veterans of the Iraq war enrolled at Williams. We do have Iraq veterans working on staff — one who saw three tours of duty.”

Comments:

1) In our discussion last week on the Webb GI Bill, Frank Uible ’57 wrote:

I would like to hear a McCain supporter’s version of the reason for McCain’s opposition. It appears anti-intuitive.

I am not a McCain supporter, yet I can understand his opposition to this bill. Instead of giving more money to veterans that they can only spend on education, I would rather see us give them the same amount of money that they can spend on anything at all. Not every enlisted soldier wants to go to college; not every office wants a Ph.D. (What I used my GI Bill money for.) Moreover, the extra funding should not go to veterans in general but should be focussed on those serving in the most dangerous, combated positions.

2) Unlike Wick, I am not particularly upset that Williams does not do anything to (specially) recruit veterans. Of course, I would like to see more veterans at Williams and would vote in favor of the College seeking them out. But I recognize this as special pleading on my part. Doing what Jim Wright does for Dartmouth takes time and money, both of which are always limited. It would not be hard for Williams to do more (mainly reach out to the various programs/departments which help veterans transition out of the service), but it is not unreasonable for the admissions office to devote its energies elsewhere.

3) The main change that I would like to see is to have an Eph veteran awarded a Bicentennial Medal each year for the next 5 or 10 years. You can call this quota, if you like, but there is no doubt (in my mind) that Ephs like Bunge Cooke ’98, JR Rahill ’88, Kathy Sharpe Jones ’79 and others have demonstrated “distinguished achievement” in their fields of endeavor. Williams should honor them. Write to Secretary of the Alumni Society Brooks Foehl ’88 if you agree.

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