Youngstown State University is launching the public phase of a $1.25 million fund-raising campaign to construct a Veterans Resource Center on Wick Avenue.
The center will help military veterans and service members transition to, and succeed as, university students.
The campaign already has garnered $300,000 in donations and pledges, leaving $950,000 to be raised, the university announced Tuesday.
YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson said the creation of the Veterans Resource Center is another step in the university’s commitment to serve the special needs of veteran and military students who are entering university life.
“It is imperative that we do all we can do to ensure that these individuals, who have served their country with honor, are successful in reaching their educational and career goals,” she said.
If the funds are raised, a two-story building will be constructed on the site of the former Peck House on Wick Avenue, between Pollock House and Melnick Hall. It will house the YSU Office of Veterans Affairs, created in 2009 to assist current and former members of the military who become YSU students. The building will provide a space for students to gather, interact with other veterans and receive assistance with admissions, financial aid and other related services. The Office of Veterans Affairs is now on the third floor of Tod Hall.
The fundraising campaign is led by a 13-person cabinet that includes retired military personnel with close ties to YSU. Cabinet co-chairmen are Carl Nunziato, a 1961 graduate of YSU, Army veteran of the Vietnam War and former vice president of National City Bank Trust; and Bernie Kosar Sr., a 1959 graduate of the Rayen School of Engineering at YSU and a veteran of 15 years in the Army Reserves.
“Under the leadership of President Anderson, much has been done to help better serve and honor veterans and service members, including the creation of the Veterans Affairs office and the opening of Armed Forces Boulevard on campus,” said Nunziato, who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, where he lost both of his legs in combat.
“The construction of this facility is further proof of the university’s commitment to make the educational needs of veteran and military students a priority today and for years to come.” Nunziato said an architect’s rendering of the new Veterans Resource Center is being developed.
Kosar appealed to veterans, veterans groups, members of the community and others to give what they can to the campaign. “We are confident that there is sufficient support for our veterans to reach and even exceed our campaign goal,” he said. “If all goes according to plan, we hope to open the doors in 2014.”
To donate or make a pledge, contact Heather Chunn in the Office of University Development at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 330-941-1363.