To honor and recognize all active duty, guard, reserve, separated and retired veterans of all branches of the armed services, Genesee Community College is holding special programs in honor of Veteran's Day.
Celebrations to honor all veterans will take place on Veteran's Day, Nov. 11.
Genesee Community College has a rich history of serving veterans returning to school after serving their country and offers a scholarship to veterans through the GCC Foundation.
At the main campus in Batavia, a reception will be held in the Conable Technology Building Lobby from 12:30 – 2 p.m.
All of the college's veterans from all branches of military service, past and present, and including faculty, staff, students, administration and alumni are being asked to sign the college's U.S. Veteran's Book of Honor.
Each signatory will receive a patriotic ribbon. At 1 p.m, a salute to the flag by the Genesee County Joint Veterans Honor Guard will commence at the college's centrally located Clock Tower. Refreshments will be served throughout the celebration.
From 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. laptops will be set up in the Technology Building Lobby to send e-mail messages to troops serving abroad.
Additionally, a Wall of Honor will be posted from 10 to 2 p.m. on the college's video boards that will display photos of students, staff, family members and alumni that are United States veterans. Michael Perry, Television Production technician at Genesee has led the way for the Wall of Honor to grow each year as names and photos are added to the memorial.
Genesee student and Iraq War veteran Chad Cummings knows the value of attaining a college degree after serving his country. Originally from Boston, he settled in Batavia after serving in the Army for more than 13 years. He began his college career while still serving his country and attending classes through Jefferson County Community College. He made it a priority that when he finished his military career, he would finish his education.
While serving in the Army, Cummings was a Staff Sergeant and performed two tours of duty in Iraq as well as a tour in Bosnia. He completed his commitment to the military in July of 2008 and is scheduled to graduate from Genesee with a degree in Criminal Justice next month.
He hopes to take more classes in the spring to further his education before transferring to a four-year college. Cummings currently works at the INS Detention Center in Batavia and is balancing being a student and working to support his family.
"I'm finding it's challenging to balance going to class and fitting in work," Cummings said. "I'm lucky that I have the financial support from the GI Bill to complete my education. It's important for vets who don't qualify for full tuition reimbursement to have financial support from scholarships like the one GCC's foundation provides."
Cummings currently resides in Batavia with his wife, Lee, and their 3-year-old son Chase. His future plans include completing a bachelor's degree and one day working in local law enforcement.
The Genesee Community College Foundation offers a Veteran's Scholarship award for returning veterans, which augments federal benefits to help veterans obtain vital career training at the college.
For further information or to donate please contact Alice Weather at 343-0055, ext. 6539. Applications for the Veteran's Scholarship can be found online at: http://www.genesee.edu/index.cfm/general/dspArticle/financial.scholarships/.