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Heidelberg University designated as Collegiate Purple Star campus




Photo Credit: Heidelberg University

Tiffin, Ohio — Heidelberg University has been named a Collegiate Purple Star campus by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE).

The announcement was made by ODHE Chancellor Randy Gardner on Tuesday, May 9. This designation recognizes Heidelberg University’s commitment to supporting students with military backgrounds.

Carole Thomas, a U.S. Army veteran and Career Services Specialist at Heidelberg, spearheaded the application process for the Collegiate Purple Star Campus designation. She expressed that this designation is a testament to Heidelberg’s dedication to meeting the unique needs of military-connected students.

“Many military individuals have different needs than traditional college students, different priorities and different struggles,” Thomas said. “This designation demonstrates that Heidelberg has a plan in place to meet their needs and provide resources to support their academic success.”

According to Gardner, Ohio was the first state in the nation to offer these designations, which aim to recognize the work already done by Ohio’s PreK-12 school system to create the Purple Star designation for those schools that worked to become military-friendly.

Governor Mike DeWine expressed his pleasure that even more Ohio colleges and universities are welcoming military and veteran families to their campuses, adding that the designation assures service members, veterans, and other military-connected students can access the resources and support systems they need to pursue their educational goals.

Criteria for being designated as a Collegiate Purple Star campus includes having a dedicated military/veteran point of contact and/or office on campus, establishing priority registration for veterans and service members, surveying student veterans and service members – along with spouses and dependents – about needs and challenges, and allowing for the establishment of student-led groups and organizations for veterans and service members.

Heidelberg University’s recognition as a Collegiate Purple Star campus is a result of a campus-wide collaboration, initiated by Phil Ness, vice president for University Advancement and Alumni Affairs, and with the support of various administrative offices, including Admission, Financial Aid, the Registrar, the Owen Center for Teaching and Learning, President Rob Huntington, and Provost Bryan Smith.

With the addition of Heidelberg, the number of schools earning the Collegiate Purple Star designation has increased to 46 since 2022.

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