The state of Ohio awarded The University of Toledo a Collegiate Purple Star for its support of military and veteran students and their families, helping them transition to the classroom and achieve success.
UToledo was selected to be part of the inaugural class of 33 public and private colleges and universities in Ohio awarded the honor for being a military-friendly institution of higher education.
“The University of Toledo has supported veterans and service members for years through its Military Service Center,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “The Collegiate Purple Star is fitting recognition for UToledo’s dedication to helping all of its military-connected students succeed.”
Ohio is the first state in the nation to offer this Collegiate Purple Star campus designation.
“We have long known that The University of Toledo is a leader in working with military-connected students,” said Eric Buetikofer, UToledo director of military and veteran affairs. “This is evident in the University’s commitment to recognizing the sacrifices of our service members and their families and our dedication to helping them achieve continued success in higher education. This award is acknowledgment from the state of Ohio that we are meeting statewide recommendations in meeting the needs of our military-connected students.”
UToledo’s Military Service Center helps military and veteran students apply for GI benefits and certifies their eligibility through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It also helps them obtain and post military transcripts for credit and makes referrals to community resources for additional assistance.
UToledo was recognized in 2021 by the Military Times as a Best for Vets school being ranked 65 out of more than 260 four-year institutions nationwide. The University was ranked 80 out of 134 in 2020 and 123 out of 208 in 2019.
The Military Service Center regularly hosts Green Zone training to discuss how faculty and staff can support military-connected students at UToledo.
UToledo also dedicated the Lt. Col. Thomas J. ’65 Veterans Lounge in Carlson Library in 2018 to provide student veterans a place to relax, study and enjoy the camaraderie they experienced while serving their country.
In 2017 UToledo was nationally recognized as the first university campus in the country to simultaneously honor all service members of the armed forces and the families who lost a loved one defending the United States by dedicating both a Blue Star Memorial marker and Gold Star Memorial marker. The star markers are part of the Veterans’ Plaza, located on the northwest corner of Centennial Mall on Main Campus, which recognizes the courage and commitment made by servicemen and women.
In addition, the community’s annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast and Resource Fair on Veterans Day is held at the University.
“No other state in the country has an award like this,” Buetikofer said. “UToledo being awarded the Collegiate Purple Star is not only good for the University and northwest Ohio but also is a symbol that Ohio cares about our military-connected students and is striving to elevate all institutions of higher education within the state to a standard of excellence not seen anywhere else in the country.”
The Collegiate Purple Star awards advance the work already done by Ohio’s PreK-12 school system to create the Purple Star designation for military friendly schools in 2017.
The higher education designations were determined by a Collegiate Purple Star Advisory Committee after evaluation and recommendation. The advisory committee was comprised of members from organizations including the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the Ohio Veterans Education Council, the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department and the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission K-12 Purple Star Committee.