Winthrop University’s 106 student veterans now have a new place to call their own. The campus’ first Veterans Center opened its doors Monday, that above all, is a quiet place for servicemen and women to build camaraderie, study and take a break from college life.
Rock Hill native and five-year combat Marine Jeremy Nasekos says it’s important for the university to understand the needs to student veterans.
“We’re not kids,” Nasekos said. “I might have a young face but I’ve seen a lot more [in combat] and some of the veterans are older than most of the faculty here…we are furthering a career we have already started.”
The initiative was a joint effort led by the Department of Student Life under the leadership of university president Jayne Marie Comstock.
Katherine Sardelli runs Winthrop’s office of Adult Student Services and says the new center caters to veterans’ specific needs.
“A lot of campuses are focusing on student veterans with the draw-down of troops…a lot of students are coming back to campuses with their G.I. benefits.”
In the center, which sits in the basement level of Bancroft Hall, Sardelli says the site will pull students from across campus.
Nasekos, who also is the president of Winthrop’s student veterans organization, says it will be used for much more than building camaraderie and studying.
“We are starting a group for combat veterans to meet and talk about our experiences,” Nasekos said. “We have a group set up and ready go to when anybody needs help.”
Nasekos said a representative from the Veterans Administration and Winthrop’s Department of Students with Disabilities have also committed to to help with the endeavor.
“We try to let people know that we’re here and help in any way we can,” Nasekos said.