University News

WIU Achieves Military Friendly "Gold" School Status

December 8, 2016

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- While Western Illinois University has now been designated a "Military Friendly School" by "G.I. Jobs" Magazine (Victory Media) for eight consecutive years, this year, WIU has achieved "Gold" School Status in the "Large Public School" category (more than 10,000 students).

According to Victory Media, Military Friendly Awards showcase the most powerful and effective programs of more than 1,200 post-secondary schools and 200 companies. Of those designated, 154 employers and 541 schools have been recognized for excellence in different categories. Levels for the 2017 awards include Top 10 Gold (a ranked list of the Top 10 in a category based on a numerical score); Gold (schools scoring within 20 percent of the last-ranked [10th] institution); Silver (schools scoring within 30 percent of the last-ranked [10th] institution) and Bronze (schools scoring within 40 percent of the last-ranked [10th] institution).

"Western Illinois University is well known for its support of active military personnel and veterans," said President Jack Thomas. "The continual acknowledgement of our longstanding mission of providing outstanding service to our students, faculty and staff who are veterans and active members of the armed forces is most appreciated. We are proud of Western's commitment and tradition."

In addition to offering the Bachelor of General Studies degree and flexible academic studies and support to active military personnel and veterans, for many years Western has provided the resources these men and women need upon entering – or returning to – school.

The University's Wright Residence, which serves as the Veterans Resource Center, provides streamlined services and resources in a centralized location to ensure that all veterans, guard members, reservists and active duty personnel receive individual assistance with any question or concern they may encounter. The center also sponsors a series of group seminars/workshops each year based on the current needs of its military student population.

The center has established partnerships with various campus and community organizations. Students gain direct access to a comprehensive array of services such as VA benefits, financial assistance, disability resources, health care, career development and personal wellness. The center also features computer access, a study/meeting room, a lounge and a three-season porch. Four student-veteran peer assistants work with student-veterans to help navigate state and federal applications, obtain school and military records and transition to the community.

"All of our Military Friendly award recipients set the standard for excellence," said Daniel Nichols, chief product officer of Victory Media and head of Military Friendly development. "They offer exceptional examples of what it means not just to build a program that meets federal requirements, but one that serves the military and veteran community from classrooms to careers."

For more information about veterans' resources at Western Illinois University, contact Kathy Meyers at or (309) 298-3505.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations