Washtenaw Community College Dedicates Its Veterans Center in Honor Of Tim and Laurie Wadhams Longtime Supporters of the College and Veteran Services
Ann Arbor, Mich., Nov. 12, 2015 — As part of its Veterans Day observances, Washtenaw Community College dedicated its Veterans Center in the Student Center building in honor of Tim and Laurie Wadhams for their generous support of the college, and in particular, its services for students who have served in the Armed Forces.
“Our Veterans Center is here today because of the generosity of spirit and the financial gifts of Tim and Laurie Wadhams,” said WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca. “Along with all of us, Tim and Laurie want our veterans to have a place they can call home – with assurance that we will always provide our veterans the resources they need to make educational dreams and career goals come true. And also, a place where their stories can be told and not forgotten.”
The name was unveiled in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, at which the Wadhams, President Bellanca and WCC Student Veterans Association President Alberto Acosta addressed students, faculty and staff.
“Laurie and I are very proud that WCC has named the Veterans Center in our honor,” said Tim Wadhams. “The College has created a best-in-class resource, with a proactive, passionate staff, to insure that our veterans and military families have effective access to the many programs and opportunities that are available to further their education. We are grateful that we are in a position to help those who have served and sacrificed for this great country of ours to pursue their dreams.”
The Wadhams donation represents the largest gift the Washtenaw Community College Foundation has received and the gift to the Veterans Center was the largest given to specifically support veterans.
“Had it not been for the staff at the WCC Veterans Center, I would have been lost,” said Acosta. “Because of the personal attention I received, I was able to find solutions to my problems and am now better able to reach my dream of becoming a pharmacist.”
According to WCC’s enrollment services, there were 663 students enrolled who were either veterans, active military or in the reserves in the last academic year.
The Veterans Center provides several services, including academic advising, assistance with applying for benefits, certification of enrollment for benefits, and computers for school use.
“It is also a place where veterans can go to connect with other veterans. Much has been written about how it’s not easy to transition from military life to civilian life, and essentially, the Center exists to help make that transition smoother,” said Jan Militello, WCC Veterans Student Advisor.
The dedication ceremony concluded a day of several events marking this year’s Veterans Day: a sunrise flag raising ceremony by student veterans; breakfast for WCC faculty and staff veterans, and a luncheon for WCC student veterans at Garrett’s – the college’s student-run restaurant.
In addition, 2,000 mini-U.S. flags lined walkways across the campus. At the naming dedication, there were performances by the Plymouth Fife and Drum Corps and the WCC Chorus.