Every year among the first year class of Vassar students arrives a unique group of non-traditional students. Thanks to Vassar’s partnership with the Posse Veterans Foundation, anywhere from six to 10 United States military veterans begin their secondary education journey here—at Vassar College. The Posse Foundation was originally founded in 1989 with the mission of ensuring that low-income and first-generation students have the best chances of succeeding by sending groups or ‘posses’ of students to elite colleges and universities across the country. The vision was that these “posses” of 10 students, along with a faculty mentor, would support each other through four years of college and have access to an ever growing network of resources and mentors to help them connect to careers in every industry. In 2012, Vassar College, looking to grow their veteran student population, partnered with the Posse Foundation to create the first-ever veterans’ posse. Since then, Vassar has become the number three liberal arts college in the country for veterans according to a U.S. News & World Report. During our time on campus, the veteran community has participated in campus sports like rugby and rowing, founded the the Vassar Veterans Association, served as active members of countless clubs and organizations and participated in community service in the Hudson River Valley. Some of us are heavily involved in campus life and others are happily taking the time to focus on themselves for the first time in their lives. As Professor Del Razo from the education department likes to say in his classes, “Veterans are not a monolithic group.” I hope that this year’s Vets Voices demonstrates our depth and our voices. We all joined for different reasons, and we all came to Vassar for different goals. Like every community, we are all still individuals underneath it all.
I’d like to take this time to thank some people who have collectively made the transition here at Vassar easier.
First, as always, is Registrar Colleen Mallet. Colleen, you have always gone above and beyond to help students in need and the vets thank you for your continued support. We love you and couldn’t imagine a Vassar life without you welcoming us home every year.
Second, I would like to thank the veteran faculty for supporting our community and showing us that we can succeed beyond our wildest expectations. I personally am thankful for the numerous reminders that I can put myself first and that mental health days are just as important to my success as my GPA.
And finally I’d like to thank The Miscellany News for helping to ensure that this collaboration is a success. We appreciate the platform to be ourselves and to introduce our peers to the Veteran Voices of Vassar.