Student veterans bring an important diversity of experience and perspective to campus. They work hard, they are leaders, they are high achievers and they face challenges.
An office to support our student veterans
Student Veterans are older, they often have family responsibilities, many are adjusting from recent combat, and they have been away from a formal academic setting. They often come with government financial support, but that is inadequate to cover their expenses. We honor those who have served. We have made progress in understanding the special challenges faced by our student veterans and we know that we need to do more.
William & Mary recognizes the unique value and needs of our student veterans and the opportunities to be even more veteran-friendly. The Office for Student Veteran Engagement is part of broader efforts to promote leadership in public service, including initiatives with the military and intelligence communities.
The Office of Student Veteran Engagement supports veteran students in a variety of ways. From bolstering the efforts of veteran student organizations, connecting veterans with resources on and off-campus to helping with applications, GI bill benefits, transferability of courses and other support services. The staff assist in finding internship and employment opportunities, as well as, coordinate initiatives across all schools and programs, work to expand veteran enrollment, and seek support for those and other university veteran programs.
Recent successes such as expanding enrollment in student veteran organizations, conducting Green Zone training for staff and faculty to improve understanding of veteran issues, the identification of scholarship and internship opportunities and coordination of university-wide Veterans Day activities have all been achieved by volunteers. The Office converted those initial volunteer efforts into a coordinated, sustained campaign to make William & Mary truly veteran-friendly and a model for other universities.
Leading the office and building university partnerships
Charlie Foster, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, and William & Mary graduate, serves as William & Mary’s director of the Office of Student Veteran Engagement. Foster most recently served as Veteran Liaison for the Troops to Teachers Virginia Center, while also serving as Co-chair for William & Mary’s Military and Veteran Affairs Working Group.
Foster earned his Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from William & Mary, focusing on student veterans’ transition from the military into higher education. His master’s thesis examined the history of military members stationed at William & Mary during World War II, as well as veterans who attended immediately after the war.
Foster enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after September 11th, 2001, serving as a Combat Correspondent. He went through the transition to higher education himself when he separated from the military and attended Berea College to study English.
As an advisor to students, Foster connects veterans with comprehensive campus resources, including help with applications, GI Bill benefits, transferability of courses and other support services, and assistance with internships and employment opportunities. Foster works with colleagues to identify and coordinate opportunities across all schools and programs, work to expand active-duty military and veteran enrollment, and seek external support for those and other university veteran initiatives. Foster coordinates the activities of an Advisory Council, including student, faculty, staff and alumni members, and works with them to develop innovative approaches to helping student veterans.
We want you to apply. We are here to help with the process.
Charlie Foster may be reached at [[ctfoster]].