Currently browsing posts filed under "Veterans Admissions"

Follow this category via RSS

Who would you admit?

In DDF’s post on Monday, he said the following: “We should accept the best students, those who did well academically in high school and are likely to do well academically at Williams. We reject 100s of AR 1s each year. We should never accept an AR 2 (or 3? or 4?) just because she is a veteran or older or has gone to a community college.”

In the comments there was some discussion about whether or not veterans and community college students should be admitted. DDF said, “I just want the same rules for everyone. Call me crazy! If you are AR 1 (and maybe 2), you get in. If not, you don’t.”

I have NO PROBLEM with the admissions team having different standards for different applicants. I trust the professionals on the team to make the nuanced judgment that a veteran who is an AR 2 (or a 3 or 4), would add a lot more to the Williams community (in and out of the classroom) than another AR 1 from a prep school or Shanghai. I also trust the professionals to keep an approrpiate balance among those two groups.

How about you? Would you admit the veteran or the community college student?

I realize that the admission process is complicated and cannot really be boiled down to this simple a question but I STRONGLY belief that Williams is a better place when the admissions team looks beyond the numbers. I do not want the 525 students who will get the highest GPA’s, I want the 525 students who can be successful at Williams individually and together make the Williams community a better place for all its members.


College Censorship Anniversary



On or about two years ago today, Williams College began to censor historic artifacts founded by previous generations of Ephs. This mural in the log came from the World War Two generation. A war memorial that depicted Chief Hendrick Theyanoguin standing over a map being inspected by Ephraim Williams on the morning of the Bloody Morning Scout, during the battle of Lake George in 1755. Hendrick and Ephraim were both killed in combat during this joint reconnaissance mission.


Veterans in the Academy: POSSE Veterans of the Global War. Ephblog favorite Alum and Vassar President Cappy Hill has action, not words.


AF ROTC: Uniforms on Campus … ( a reissue from 11/11/09)


RE: PTC’s post below and ROTC on campus …


It is still a day remembering service as I write this post. Perhaps some may not know that uniforms, if you so desired, were a part of campus life in the ’50’s,

honor air

During the war, V -12 programs were on campus and a few years later, the presence of returning vets was common.

A full complement of officers and enlisted men were assigned to Williams to serve as the faculty.

The appearance of a veteran on campus would not be new. I hope the appearance would be welcome.



I also found this  follow-up that I posted in 2010. The pictures have disappeared but the text asks the question:

And a post from PTC dated 28 May, 2011


ROTC was an important part of a Williams education for 10% of the Class of 1956. Click MORE (below) to see the AF faculty. I knew Captain Taylor, a fine man and a graduate of the USNA.

Read more


Veterans at Williams

Nice Record article about veterans at Williams.

I was fortunate enough to speak with three veteran students – Jake Bingaman ’19, Calum Ferguson ’19 and Nils Horn ’19 – to learn about their experiences in the armed forces and at the College so far.

The reporter, Emilia Maluf, should provide some more details, in addition to the human interest vignettes that she nicely describes.

First, are these the only three veterans in the class of 2019? (And, by the way, how did she get this information. Did the College feed it to her? Not that there is anything wrong with that!)

Second, what has been the trend in veterans admissions in the last 10 years or so? My sense is that there have often been international veterans, like Ferguson and Horn, on campus, but I don’t know the data. I also think that there has not been a US veteran on campus for years (Decades?) But it would be nice to get the facts straight.


Veterans Admissions IV

This The New York Times article on special admissions programs for military veterans at elite colleges provides a good excuse for a four day review of the topic, one we have covered before at EphBlog. This is Day 4.

Carl Callender, a member of the first veteran cohort at Vassar, was working full time and attending classes at Bronx Community College when he learned about Vassar’s initiative.

“My plan was, at the time, to get my associate’s degree and then transfer to Hunter or Baruch,” he said, referring to two campuses of the City University of New York. “I was at a point where I felt that certain opportunities were no longer available to me. But then along came Posse.”

That sounds like a pretty smart plan! Is going to Vassar a much better idea? I have my doubts.

First, although there are real benefits to attending an elite school, it is not clear (to me) how many of those benefits apply to a 35 year-old like Callendar. In particular, what “certain opportunities” is he referring to? The most obvious opportunities (outside of the high quality of the education itself) that Vassar provides are:

a) Providing a network of peers and friends and potential spouses.
b) Providing an on-ramp to certain high powered careers that are largely unavailable to someone at a less elite school.

It is not clear, to say the least, that this applies to someone who is 35 at Vassar. How much can he (reasonably) hang out and befriend the teen-agers in his class? How much will recruiters like, say, Morgan Stanley or Teach for America, view him as they view other Vassar students.

Mr. Callender, who served in the Marine Corps Reserve for eight years, said that the transition to campus life was hard, but greatly eased by the presence of a group of veterans.

“I stuck out like a sore thumb,” Mr. Callender, 35, said of his first day on campus. But his fellow veterans provided social support. “I had people I knew, people I could eat with and people I could study with.”

If I were Callendar, I would do the same: study with, eat with, live with and hang out with the people I had the most in common with. But that pattern, reasonable as it is, means that other Vassar students don’t actually benefit from the presence of this “diversity.”

Even so, returning to school had been a somewhat disorienting, if positive, experience.

“It’s awkward coming here,” he said of Vassar, where he is a sophomore. “It’s almost like someone hit the reset button. Five years ago I would have been able to tell you exactly what I wanted to do. But now, I am like a kid in a candy store.”

Kids in candy stores are not famous for making smart long-term choices. So, perhaps this simile is all too accurate. We need to know more details about Callendar’s situation, but it sure sounds like he was a Marine with a plan. Working full time at age 35 is a very good idea, especially if it is giving you experience and connections in an industry that you want to be in. Taking college classes part time is smart (and cheap).

Dropping all that and going to Vassar for four years is a very different plan. Maybe it is a better one. Maybe it isn’t. But am I the only one that doesn’t completely trust Vassar to present the pros and cons of the decision accurately to Callendar?


Veteran’s Admissions III

This The New York Times article on special admissions programs for military veterans at elite colleges provides a good excuse for a four day review of the topic, one we have covered before at EphBlog. This is Day 3.

As of this year, Vassar has successfully matriculated two veteran cohorts, bringing the number of veterans at Vassar to 21, out of 2,450 undergraduates. The hope is to continue to admit one group of veterans every year, which would mean, in two years, veterans would constitute nearly 1.5 percent of the student body, should overall enrollment remain the same.

Hmmm. “Successfully matriculated” is not the same thing as “successfully educated” or “successfully integrated into the class” or even “successfully retained.” How many of the 10 (?) veterans that came to Vassar as a part of the class of 2017 are still at Vassar? How many are glad that they came? Is there a single veteran who is unhappy with the program? Hard questions are not going to be asked or answered in this article because it is a puff piece. If I were the editor involved, I would be, at least slightly, embarrassed.

“One of the things we have been trying to do over the last decade or so is create a diverse student body,” Ms. Hill said. “This effort is part of creating that diversity.”

How about creating a “smart” or “talented” or “hard-working” student body first? Now, this is somewhat unfair to Hill. Vassar is a fine school, ranked 11th by US News, with many smart, hard-working students. But hundreds and hundreds of smarter, harder-working high school seniors turn down Vassar each year to attend better colleges. That is what Cappy Hill ought to work on.

This year, Wesleyan University followed Vassar’s lead and admitted 10 veterans to its freshman class under the Posse program.

Hmm. The fact that Wesleyan is participating in this program makes me even more suspicious. First, it is reasonable to argue that a veteran ought to choose Dartmouth over State U because of the better education and/or networks that Dartmouth provides. But that argument does not apply nearly as strongly, if at all, to Wesleyan. (Contrary arguments welcome.) Second, Wesleyan faces non-trivial budget problems. Does it find this program interesting, not because it likes veterans (this is Wesleyan, after all), but because the GI Bill makes such students “cheap” because they do not need financial aid?

“The goal,” Ms. Hill said, “is to get 10 to 12 schools in the program. With the current three cohorts in place, we will be able to converse with other schools about how they might make this program work for them.”

I am all for experimentation, but only if the results of the experiment are honestly reported. Again, Dartmouth has been matriculating veterans for at least five years. What happened to them? If Hill hasn’t tried to find out, then she is not doing her job. If she has found out and isn’t telling us, then . . .

But matriculating veterans is a complex operation. Most four-year colleges cater to students between the ages of 18 and 22. Student veterans, on the other hand, tend to be older, are sometimes married or have children, and can present challenges different to those of a typical undergraduate student.

Dan MacDonald, 50, a freshman at Dartmouth, is married and has a 10-year-old daughter. Though he was able to secure off-campus housing with help from faculty members, he will attend the first term alone, leaving his family behind on Long Island.

50?!? We are very far away from my hypothetical 20 year-old USMC lance corporal. Dartmouth can do as it wants, but I don’t think Williams should have any 50 year-old students. Williams has a hard enough job to be the best college in the world for 18 to 22 year-old young adults. Trying to incorporate someone as old as MacDonald is too hard a problem.

And this example — the best one that they could come up with for the article?!? — highlights the shallowness of Cappy Hill’s previous discussion of diversity. One can make a reasonable case for “diversity” — i.e., for affirmative action for Hispanic/black applicants — because a variety of backgrounds, when interwoven within a students four year experience at Vassar — makes for a better undergraduate experience. Fine. But that argument requires integration both in the classroom and, more importantly, in the dorm and dining hall. Most (90%?) of the benefits of diversity come outside of the classroom, in discussions and debates and conversations. But Dan MacDonald will, through no fault of his own, participate in very little of that. He won’t live in the dorms or eat (much) in the dining hall. He will come to campus to take his classes and then head back to his family, as every father with a 10 year-old daughter should.

Vassar could have a 100 veterans on campus, but if they aren’t completely integrated into undergraduate life, then they will add a trivial amount of “diversity” to the education on their non-veteran classmates.


Veterans Admissions II

This The New York Times article on special admissions programs for military veterans at elite colleges provides a good excuse for a four day review of the topic, one we have covered before at EphBlog. This is Day 2.

According to school administrators, there was one undergraduate veteran attending Princeton during the 2013-14 academic year, out of 5,244 undergraduates. Harvard had four among its roughly 6,700 undergraduates. Brown had 11 out of 6,182. Dartmouth, whose former president, James Wright, is an enlisted Marine Corps veteran who encourages veterans to continue their education during his visits to military hospitals, had 18 of 4,276.

Williams, I believe, has zero. (Corrections welcome!) Previous serious discussion of this topic five years ago.

Despite all the (deserved) grief that Wright used to take from our friends at Dartblog, I am still a fan, as I am of anyone who visits the wounded in our military hospitals.

But Wright/Dartmouth have been doing this for many years now. How well has the program worked? A dozen or more ex-military students have entered and then graduated from Dartmouth. Tell us about their experiences. How many failed to graduate? How many now think that the decision to go to Dartmouth was a mistake?

The fact that these schools don’t produce and/or make public such a report makes me suspicious about how well (or poorly) the program has worked.

In response to those numbers, organizations like the Posse Foundation have turned their attention to bringing more veterans to the nation’s colleges. The foundation was started in 1989 to help underrepresented students to enter top-tier schools. Two years ago, Catharine Bond Hill, the president of Vassar College, began working with the group to apply their model — which focuses on helping exceptional community college students gain admission to elite four-year colleges — to veterans.

EphBlog loves Cappy Hill ’76, but is Vassar, as an institution, better off when its president uses college resources to support her personal (and idiosyncratic?) moral views? There are many, many groups of people who are underrepresented at Vassar. Why all the resources devoted to veterans? Why not, say, victims of domestic violence? Or orphans? Or survivors of childhood cancer? Each of these groups would benefit from the resources that Cappy Hill is devoting toward veterans. Each would add a true diversity of experience to Vassar.

A wiser president would spend her time and resources to make Vassar a better college by increasing the quality of the student body, mainly by convincing at least some of the hundreds of students who turn down Vassar each year (in order to go to higher ranked liberal arts colleges like Williams and Amherst) to choose Vassar instead.

The Posse Foundation mandates that every member of a class attend a monthlong training seminar designed to prepare them for the rigors of full-time scholarship and to promote camaraderie among the members. Additionally, members must begin as first-year students, regardless of how many community college credits they have accrued.

The Posse Foundation might be the world’s most wonderful non-profit, but every institution is tempted to do things that are good for it, whether or not those things are good for its (purported) clients. How much “camaraderie” can there be among veterans who will soon attend a variety of colleges? I bet close to zero. But such a training program provides all sorts of empire-building possibilities for the Posse Foundation itself . . .

More importantly, would you advise a veteran who already had two years of college credits to start over again in Vassar instead of finishing up at his state university in just two years? Not me. At least, not until we had a thorough discussion about the costs and benefits of both choices.


Veterans Admissions I

This The New York Times article on special admissions programs for military veterans at elite colleges provides a good excuse for a four day review of the topic, one we have covered before at EphBlog. This is Day 1.

As bow-tied waiters cleared plates and emptied coffee cups inside a plush meeting room at the Yale Club in Midtown Manhattan earlier this month, about 30 veterans from nearby community colleges listened to representatives from Yale, Dartmouth, Wesleyan and Vassar describe their veterans programs and answer questions about academics, financial aid and housing.

Rob Cuthbert, an enlisted Army veteran and member of the fiduciary board of the Yale Veterans Association who helped to organize the event, said the session was an attempt to address a phenomenon he referred to as an “exigent crisis”: the small numbers of veterans attending elite four-year colleges and universities.

Note the framing: “bow-tied waiters” in a “plush” meeting room. These facts have nothing to do with the substance of the story, but they do set up a narrative of elite gatekeepers and poor-but-striving veterans.

It is really a “crisis,” exigent or otherwise, that so few veterans attend elite schools? No. The vast, vast majority of US veterans have neither the ability nor the desire to attend places like Williams.

Imagine an article that claimed that it was a “crisis” that so few veterans play professional sports. (Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single veteran in the NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB. Corrections welcome.) Men with the background/ability to (potentially) play professional sports have little interest, today, in serving in the military. And that is OK! It is a free country.

But unless you ascribe to an extreme blank slatism which claims that every kind of person should be represented at places like Williams, there no more reason to worry about the lack of veterans at Williams than to worry about the lack of veterans in the NFL NBA.

[Update: Thanks to a comment below for pointing out that there are veterans in the NFL. I do not think that there are any in the NBA. Corrections welcome.]

Keep in mind that there are three separate issues:

First, should Williams discriminate on the basis of age? My answer: Yes! If you want to be the best college in the world, then you need to focus on finding/recruiting the most academically-talented, English-fluent, 18 year-olds. Might you accept a few 19/20 year-olds who wanted to take a gap year or who had to serve one year of military service in Singapore? A few 17 year-olds who skipped a grade in high school? Sure! But the primary focus in on 18 year-olds.

Second, what about the (many?) US 20 year-olds who, after a three year stint in the Marine Corps, want to go to Williams? Fine! Send in an application. Williams should (I am happy to grant) treat them the same as it would any other applicant. If they have 1500 Math/Verbal SATs with top grades in challenging high school courses then, by all means, admit them. The problem (?) is that there are very, very few (any?) such applicants.

Third, what about affirmative action for military veterans? It is true that there are very few applicants with reasonable academic credentials — say, Academic Ratings 3 and 4 on the Williams scale — but we might give such applicants a boost, just as we do with black/Hispanics/athletes. I don’t like this idea because I think that the affirmative action that the College practices with those other groups is bad for Williams and bad for the students it purports to help, i.e., the mismatch hypothesis.

But even if you put all this together — excepting applicants at 20 (so they are freshman at 21 or even 22), lowering admissions standards to go down to Academic Rating 3 or 4 — the number of potential Ephs is too small to justify the trouble.

In the real world, Williams-caliber high school students don’t enlist in the military and then seek a Williams education afterwards. They either go to Williams first and then serve or they go to a military academy or ROTC right out of high school.

More details to come over the next three days.


ROTC returns to Harvard and Yale

The country will benefit by having ROTC again recruiting at the nation’s top universities. ROTC graduates constitute 56 percent of Army officers, 41 percent of Air Force officers, 20 percent of Navy officers and 11 percent of Marine Corps officers, according to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense.

The legislation repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” gave a not-so-gentle push with the inclusion of a provision requiring a report to Congress on the enforcement of the law that prohibits federal funds to colleges that block ROTC units.

Whatever the motivations – fairness or fear of losing federal funding, or both – the decision to welcome back ROTC is the right one.


How Many Veterans Apply to Williams?

From the AEI:

Wick Sloane, a columnist for Inside Higher Education, has a provocative proposal for some of America’s most selective schools: “That Harvard, Yale and Princeton and Williams College (No. 1 liberal arts college in U.S. News) commit to enrolling by next fall as many undergraduate veterans as varsity football players.”

Sloane’s proposal stems from his second annual survey of undergraduate veteran enrollment at elite schools. The numbers are, as he says, “disgraceful.” Princeton and Williams had no veterans among their undergraduates; Yale and Harvard, only two. Dartmouth and Stanford led the pack among the elites, with 12 and 21 veteran undergrads, respectively.

Asked to comment, the universities largely ignored or dismissed Sloane’s proposal. Princeton University president Shirley Tilghman actually sent the following email in response: “You may know that the thesis of your e-mail seems based on somewhat flawed reasoning (I don’t have a diamond, so therefore I don’t like diamonds).”

I’d be curious how Tilghman would regard such reasoning from a president of, say, a Fortune 500 company with no female board members or a university sciences department with no female faculty?


1) Shirley Tilghman deserves credit for responding to Wick. Did Adam Falk?

2) The key difference is that there are many women apply to, say, science departments at Williams with, objectively, credentials that are equivalent to those of the male applicants. I doubt that the biology department, for example, provides any meaningful affirmative action for women seeking faculty positions. Moreover, there are similar numbers of men and women in the applicant pool.

But I think that the situation is very different when it comes to US veteran applicants to Williams. I think that very, very few US veterans apply to Williams and that, in general, those that do have academic credentials (mainly high school grades and standardized test scores) which are much lower than other applicants. So Williams (correctly, in my view) rejects them.

Does anyone know the details of applicants to Williams from US veterans?


Wick Sloane ’76 in The Stanford Review…

Sebastain Gould, Stanford ‘12, took time off after freshman year to serve as a Machine Gunner for the US Marine Corps in Afghanistan. (Courtesy of: Sebastian Gould and the Stanford Review)

Wick Sloane, well-recognized as an advocate for the community college system, its’ path for veterans, and the potential for these students at four year schools such as Williams, is featured in an article in the Stanford Review Veterans at the Elites. The author, Harsh Govil, quotes his belief on the value of these young men and women to elite colleges

“For some, the benefit of having veterans is clear. Sloane poses the question, “from a teaching perspective, if you think you provide one of the best educations in the world, how can you miss a chance to have these young men and women in the classroom?”

Richard Nesbitt, Director of Admissions at Williams, is also extensively quoted in the article. While explaining his view of the difficulties of integrating veterans onto the campus, he mentions a new program the college is exploring. Here are Nesbitts’ quote and the conclusion of the article

“We are talking to marine corps veterans as part of [our] leadership scholar program,” said Nesbitt. The program is at a discussion stage and is being developed to help identify high ability veterans interested in a liberal arts college. Although no agreement has been signed yet, this structured approach to identifying the “right fit” veterans would go a long way in ensuring that they stay in the classrooms even after the first quarter. If adopted by other schools, this approach could lead to a healthy veteran community in colleges like Princeton or Harvard.


Veterans Proposal for Bowdoin Student Government

Provided to us by Wick Sloane ’76:

Bowdoin Student Government requests that the Office of Admissions actively recruit academically qualified veterans beginning with the Class of 2016, with the aim of having a few such students in each matriculating class. The Office of Admissions is under pressure to meet the demands of many constituencies on campus; BSG recognizes this, and submits that it is nonetheless a priority to bring a few veterans to campus.

1.) Veterans have experiences, ideas, and perspectives that no other types of students do. They would contribute to the intellectual vitality and diversity of the College, enhancing the academic experience of students and faculty alike.

2.) There are among the men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan some of the future leaders of our country, and these are people whom we want to have Bowdoin degrees. The College’s own commitment to the Common Good makes us particularly aware of the sacrifices made by those who have served our country.

3.) The College’s commitment to recruiting the best students in America should not be restricted to 18-year-olds who are seniors in high school. We recognize that there is more than one path to Bowdoin, and that participation in the armed forces should not preclude talented students from being recruited and admitted.

4.) The Bowdoin community has long had a warm relationship with the armed forces. Many recent graduates have become officers, two recent high-profile alums attended Bowdoin after serving (Wil Smith ’00 and Alex Cornell de Houx ’06), and the Naval Air Station in Brunswick has made this community welcoming towards veterans.

5.) The new Yellow Ribbon Program makes bringing veterans to Bowdoin a financially-positive proposition. With the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) providing a housing stipend, a contribution based on the tuition at the University of Maine—Orono, and matching funds for Bowdoin grants, veterans can afford the College, and Bowdoin can afford them.

6.) This policy is not unprecedented; Stanford, Dartmouth and the College of William and Mary have recently been recruiting and admitting veterans as undergraduates. Students and faculty at these institutions have been very supportive of the veterans on their campuses. And while some veterans need additional support services, these expenses are easily covered by the financial support conferred by the Yellow Ribbon Program.


George Aumoithe ’11, Rory Brinkmann ’11, Sean Campos ’11, Caitlin Callahan ’11, Nick Daniels ’12, Amanda Gartside ’12, Oluwatobi Olasunkanmi ’12, and Steve Robinson ’11.


Ephs enlist in our armed forces, Williams should return the honor

In an effort to move the conversation away from the presumption that Military Veterans would need special considerations, I would like to point out that our armed forces currently has well over 1000% more Ephs than Williams has veterans (0). If the Military is smart enough to recruit and enlist Ephs, as well as put some Ephs into Officer Programs- why can’t Williams find some valid candidates?

No special consideration is needed. Although I do believe, ten years into a global war, Williams and other schools like it should house officer programs for qualified enlisted members.


Total undergraduate veteran enrollment at Princeton, Yale, Harvard, and Williams: 4


Dulce et Decorum Est

Wick Sloane ’76 wrote the following e-mail to 5 trustees:

Greg and Steve and Clayton and Paul and Bill —

The absence of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at Williams is disgraceful. I’ve brought this to your attention before, without result. Hammering me, the messenger, is petty. I’m long dead, anyway, but fire away if that makes you feel better. There are now hundreds of thousands of veterans collecting GI Bill benefits. Williams can find a few.

Any and all of you are welcome to visit any class of mine at Bunker Hill Community College. I will give you the entire period to rebut my argument that Williams should have veterans enrolled.

I find no pleasure in this broadcast note. I’ve tried the polite way for more than a year with no luck or even credible replies.


From the column —

The Devil’s Workshop Highly Selective Veterans Day Survey

Institution Current Undergraduate Veteran Enrollment
Yale 0
Princeton 0
Williams 0
Harvard 4
Dartmouth 16
Stanford 30
Bunker Hill
Community College

(c)Inside Higher Ed

More from Wick’s column:

Cane. Short haircut. Young. Here in a community college, that means “Veteran. Wounded.” I always introduce myself to see what help they need at school. Or perhaps what help I need, because I am so ashamed of what I, the people, have put these veterans through with little result or purpose.

One cane I’ll call Tony I’ve lost altogether. He wasn’t thirty years old. An improvised explosive devise, an IED, in Iraq had caused his wounds, he told me. Brain trauma, which showed in his speech and thinking. The limp was because the IED had broken his neck. In the fog of war, no one had discovered the fracture until he was in a hospital in Germany. Just the effort of walking left him sweating in the lobby. He had his veterans benefits paperwork. A colleague and I made sure he had what he needed and knew the right lines to register. I looked two days later. Tony wasn’t registered. I telephoned. He’d been mugged on the subway. I talked with his father. I offered to drive over and pick Tony up. We couldn’t get Tony back to school. He only wanted to go to community college for job training. Another cane is still in school.

For the sake of these canes, and the coffins, too, how about an assignment for us all this week? Let’s distribute at every meeting and every class we attend this week copies of Wilfred Owen’s World War I poem, “Dulce et Decorum Est.”

The poem begins:

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

My best writing on veteran issues are here, here and here.

Happy Veteran’s Day to Ephs far and wide.


Williamstown , MA Post 152

Legion symbol

The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, war-time veterans organization, devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is a not-for-profit community-service organization which now numbers nearly 3 million members, men and women, in nearly 15,000 American Legion posts worldwide.

The legionnaire pledge:

‘I, (here give your name), ‘Do solemnly pledge ‘To uphold and defend ‘The Constitution of the United States of America;
‘To maintain law and order; ‘To foster and perpetuate
‘A one hundred percent Americanism;  ‘To preserve the memories and incidents ‘Of our associations in the Great Wars; ‘To inculcate a sense of individual obligation‘To the community, state and nation;  ‘To combat the autocracy‘Of both the classes and the masses;  ‘To make right the master of might;  ‘To promote peace and good will on Earth; ‘To safeguard and transmit to posterity ‘The principles of Justice, Freedom and Democracy; ‘To consecrate and sanctify our comradeship ‘By our devotion to mutual helpfulness;  ‘To all of which I pledge myself  ‘For God and Country.  ‘I am not a member and do not subscribe  ‘To the principles of any group  ‘Opposed to our form of government.

Have a great homecoming everyone.


Who us?

   Former Williams proffessor Marc Lynch makes the following observation (in the below post) when confronted with the shunning of military Veterans by Americas academic elite. 

I’ve had a few soldiers interested in pursuing degrees ask me nervously whether they would be shunned by academics. I would be shocked if any experienced prejudice or bias because of their war service — certainly not at a place like GWU — and would be appalled if they did.

Sir yes sir. As mentioned by JeffZ, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is the reason given for banning all military activity on many college campuses. A ban of active members of the veterans community from even existing on campus because of a government policy.

 Who else should we ban? Not the Taliban, just Marines?

 “We don’t dislike veterans; we just ban ROTC because of a policy.”

 “I am not prejudice against service members; I just cannot study near anyone wearing a military uniform, because of a policy.”

 “I think Military service is a legitimate profession, I just do not want any recruiting for it done on my property.”

   It is very thinly veiled- where these schools biases and prejudices lie. No doubt, it could be damn uncomfortable for veterans to go to a college where recruiting and involvement in such service is strictly prohibited and protested. Colleges should lift all bans on ROTC now. Such discrimination should no longer be tolerated. Support our military. Fill it full of the best educated minds in the nation.

Update: Link to an article on the History of the ROTC and Military Ban At Harvard University. “Is Harvard smart enough to listen to its students?”

From the Article:

And yet, as a 20-year-old Harvard sophomore from Bay City, Texas, named Mark Alan Isaacson told me this week: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a policy of the federal government, not just the Pentagon, and it was signed by President Clinton. But Harvard doesn’t seem to have any trouble taking money from the federal government, and Clinton is certainly welcome any time he comes on campus. So why can’t midshipmen and cadets who want to serve their country–and didn’t have anything to do with this policy–be welcomed here, too?”

As David always says “Indeed.” It is important to note, that a lot of these bans took place during the Vietnam war, and had nothing to do with “Don’t ask don’t tell”.


Yellow Ribbon, the numbers

On the previous thread Larry states that perhaps Williams offered $5,000 annual matching funds as a place holder on an application?

On second glance… perhaps not. Perhaps the school took the time to understand the full benefit of the program before they came up with a number to fund the cost?

Basic Benefits of post 9/11 GI Bill

The maximum basic benefit provides the following:

1. Cost of tuition and fees, not to exceed the most expensive in-state undergraduate tuition at a public institution of higher learning in the state you are attending school.
2. Matching funds for yellow ribbon.
3. Monthly housing allowance equal to the basic allowance for housing. payable to an E-5 with dependents, in the same zip code as the school.
4. Yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 per year.

Here are the rules. Perhaps 5k is all that is needed to match to pay for just about everything?

What is the “most expensive-in state undergraduate tuition rate at a public institution of higher learning with fees” in MA?

$5,939.50 per term. So… we do the Math for annual amount. 5939.50 X 2 + 5,000 from Williams plus 5,000 matching funds- Means qualifying veterans would receive 21,879 per year, for the cost of credits/fees.

plus E-5 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) with dependents for housing and living costs (12 X BAH of 1416), plus 1,000 for books.

21,879 plus (12X 1416) pus 1000= $39,871.00 annual benefit.

What is the annual cost for Williams again? 5k for a full ride? It’s a no brainer.


Yellow Ribbon Update

Thanks to Larry George for pointing out that Williams is contributing to the Yellow Ribbon program, contrary to our earlier post on the topic. Here is the data for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as of 06/17/2009 (also copied below). Read more


Yellow Ribbon

Amherst participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Why doesn’t Williams? More background here.

The deadline for colleges to sign up as Yellow Ribbon institutions has been extended from May 15 to June 15 – and it’s a good thing, too, as many colleges are still grappling with the program’s many complexities. Numerous private colleges — large and small, internationally-known and regional, near and far from military bases — are signing up, even as others hold back.

Under the new, Post-9/11 GI Bill, and the Yellow Ribbon Program specifically, colleges can enter into dollar-for-dollar matching agreements with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to cover any outstanding tuition and fees above those covered by the base GI Bill benefit, which varies widely across the nation because it is pegged to the highest resident, undergraduate public university charges in each state. Private colleges can enter into Yellow Ribbon agreements to cover all or part of the difference between the base benefit and their charges for up to a specified number of students, but so too can public colleges enter into Yellow Ribbon agreements, to cover the balance for non-resident veterans or those enrolled in more costly graduate programs, like law or business.

Amherst also deserves kudos for its special scholarship program for veterans.

Amherst College has created a permanently endowed scholarship fund for veterans of the U.S. armed forces who are accepted by and enroll at the liberal arts school. The Veterans Scholarship Fund, as it is called, will provide enough financial aid to cover the full demonstrated need of qualified former American servicemen and servicewomen, starting in the fall of 2009.

“Amherst has a deep respect for those who choose to serve this country through the military, and we hope that this scholarship fund will open a few doors for them,” said the college’s president, Anthony W. Marx. “In addition to elevating the level of discourse among Amherst students, faculty and staff in the classroom and across campus, I am confident the real-world insights and presence of student-veterans will resonate throughout our entire community.”

“It is extremely important to show gratitude to those who have made a sacrifice to serve our country, and helping make an Amherst education accessible to such men and women will do just that,” added Trustee Richard LeFrak ’67, whose gift from the Richard and Karen LeFrak Charitable Foundation helped create the fund. “Veterans offer a completely new perspective that many of the college’s undergraduates will benefit from hearing. They will also add a whole new dimension to the diversity of the student body.”

Surely there is at least one trustee at Williams who feels the same as LeFrak . . .

In times of economic troubles, I would not expect the College to start a new scholarship, at least in the absence of a specific donation. But why not participate in the Yellow Ribbon program?

By the way, how many veterans are in the class of 2013? Probably no more than a handful, and all of those international students. When was the last time that Williams admitted a US veteran? I have never heard of one.


Currently browsing posts filed under "Veterans Admissions"

Follow this category via RSS