Southwestern College Opens Veterans’ Resource Center
With a Navy Band playing patriotic tunes as a backdrop, Southwestern College leadership dedicated a new Veterans’ Resource Center Tuesday that will serve as home base for counseling and technological resources for student veterans.
The converted office space will officially open next month, but plans include conference space, a private room for individual counseling, a computer lab and a lounge area for student veterans to socialize.
The dedicated resource center was a long time coming, said Governing Board President Humberto Peraza, Jr.
“I know there was talk about a center even before I became a member of the board,” Peraza said. “There are a lot of people who made this happen, but it was because of the persistence of the student veterans.”
A veterans’ resource center is Southwestern College’s commitment to the sacrifice student veterans have given to defend our country and our principles, said Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish.
“They (veterans) are accustomed to a brotherhood and sisterhood where they know that somebody will always have their back,” said Dr. Nish, “That’s what this veteran’s resource center will bring to our returning veterans—a place to hang out with others who know exactly what they’ve been through.”
Student Veteran Organization President Tim Walsh, a United States Marine Corps veteran, praised Southwestern College leadership calling the new veteran center a home for heroes.
Veteran’s Service Specialist Jim Jones, a former US Marine, commended the new resource center, noting the connection each veteran has, and the need for a place for veterans to mingle.
He also said no veteran should leave Southwestern College empty handed.
“The true measure of its (Veterans’ Resource Center) worth will be determined when every veteran that walks on the campus of Southwestern College wearing a military uniform proudly walks away from our campus wearing a cap and gown,” Jones said.
|Southwestern College Governing Board members, leadership, student veterans and local dignitaries participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Veterans’ Resource Center. Front row L-R Nick Aguilar (retired Governing Board Member and member of 82, Chula Vista Councilwoman Mary Salas, SWC Governing Board members Norma Hernandez and Tim Nader, SWC Governing Board President Humberto Peraza, Jr., Jim Jones (SWC Veterans Services Specialist), National City Mayor Ron Morrison. Back row L-R: Joshua Dehaan (student veteran), Professor Chris Hayashi (Student Veteran Organization co-adviser), SWC Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish, Student Veteran Organization President Tim Walsh and (hidden) Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox.|
|The POW flag, as well as flags from each branch of the service, wave outside the new Southwestern College Veterans’ Resource Center.|