Friday, May 15, 2009

FURTHER INFORMATION:            STACY ARMSTRONG (626) 857-4082, BRUCE SOLHEIM (626) 852-8096


Citrus College to Celebrate Opening of Veterans Center

By Stacy Armstrong

For three years, Citrus College has been building a program to serve its growing veterans population.  Now, that program has a home.

The Citrus College Veterans Center will officially open on Thursday, May 14.  In celebration, the college will be hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on campus in room ED 248.

“The Veterans Center will serve as the headquarters for our campus’s Veterans Program.  It is a natural extension of the services that we provide for our veteran students,” said Dr. Bruce Solheim, veterans coordinator.  “In terms of services and atmosphere, our center is state of the art.  Our goal is for our Veterans Center to resemble a mini-USO on campus.”

Some of the services that the Citrus College Veterans Center will provide include GI Bill processing and information, the Veterans Network student club, information on counseling, peer to peer support groups, workshops, coordination of Veterans Affairs services, and much more.

According to Solheim, the majority of the funding for the center comes from a $100,000 grant that the college received from Wal-Mart in the fall.  Citrus was one of only 10 colleges in the nation to receive such a grant.

“One of the biggest issues facing combat veterans is social isolation.  Many of them have difficulty adjusting to civilian life, especially college,” Dr. Solheim said.  “We have over one hundred veterans on our campus and most have just recently returned from Iraq or Afghanistan.  Our Veterans Center provides a relaxing place for them to meet with one another, receive the latest information regarding veteran benefits, attend workshops, participate in the Veterans Network, and meet with veteran service organizations.  It also allows us to manage our Veterans Book Fund and transition course from one central location.”

The event, which is open to the public, will feature a special ceremony at noon.  Refreshments will be provided.

“Everyone is invited to come and look around and see the wonderful facility we have created for our veteran students,” Solheim said.  “This is something the entire community can be proud of and it is a fitting tribute to our brave veterans.”

For more information, call (626) 852-6421.




FURTHER INFORMATION:             STACY ARMSTRONG (626) 857-4082,  BRUCE SOLHEIM (626) 852-8096