The community celebrated the grand opening of the newly established Veterans Resource Center at University of Hawaiʻi Maui College on November 9, 2013. The Veterans Resource Center is the first center specifically for veterans in the UH school system, and will provide student veterans a dedicated space to study, network and receive tutoring and counseling services. It includes a new, private study space, kitchenette, lounge area and built-in computer desks.
State and Maui County officials recognized the community effort that launched this successful initiative. A $9,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation, volunteers from The Home Depot in Maui and the UH Maui College Veterans Club helped renovate the space on campus last September.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said, “UH Maui College is showing leadership in Hawaiʻi for providing necessary services and support for our returning veterans, active service members and their families. Mahalo to all those who had the vision and drive, and put in the hard work, to create this resource and make today’s grand opening a reality. UHMC is working hard to serve our next greatest generation, and their support will be invaluable as our troops transition back into civilian life, and find ways to continue their mission, contributing in service to our communities.”
“My father, uncle and brother-in-law are all veterans, and I know they would have appreciated something like this center,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “We can never fully repay their service to our nation but we can at least give our veterans every resource available to help them reintegrate back into civilian life.”
“Today’s opening of the Veterans Resource Center is an opportunity for all of us to express appreciation to our servicemembers and the sacrifices they have made for our country,” said UH Maui College Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, John McKee. “It’s also a day to celebrate the community effort that created this campus resource for student veterans. The center is a designated space where student veterans can network, receive academic support and have a welcoming place to help them achieve their academic, career, and life goals.”
In September 2013, UH Maui College was selected to appear on the Military Friendly Schools’ list, the annual recognition of America’s leading campuses in providing educational service to military service members, veterans and spouses.