Saint Peter’s University Recognized for its Efforts in Supporting Veterans and Military Personnel
Jersey City, N.J. – November 11, 2021 – Saint Peter’s today announced that it will be presented with the New Jersey Governor’s “We Value Our Veterans” Academia Award in recognition of the University’s efforts to support veterans and military personnel. The award will be presented to Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter’s University, by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy at the state’s Veterans Day ceremony, today at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Holmdel, N.J.
According to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA), the “We Value Our Veterans” award gives academic institutions “the opportunity to value and honor the sacrifices, patriotism and bravery displayed by our men and women who have worn the military uniform.” In addition, the DMAVA states that receiving this award “will serve as a conspicuous representation of [the institution’s] support of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.”
“The mission of Saint Peter’s University is to serve students first and the tenets of our Jesuit traditions align with Governor Murphy’s call to recognize, honor, value and serve our veterans and active military personnel,” said Elizabeth Sullivan, vice president for enrollment management and marketing at Saint Peter’s. “Through cura personalis (care for the whole person) we are able to individualize each student’s journey through Saint Peter’s and our veteran and active military students have our support.”
Saint Peter’s offers a variety of programs and services that helped the University qualify for the honor such as the University’s annual Veterans Day ceremony, the Veterans Memorial on the University’s campus titled Tribute to Sacrifice, designated parking spaces for Purple Heart/veteran students, priority registration for veteran and active military students and a dedicated webpage highlighting veteran services, among other initiatives. The University also recently hired Frank Rivera to serve in the inaugural role of director of military and veterans services.
Rivera served eight years in the United States Air Force as an aircraft electrician and flying crew chief, actively participating in the global war on terror. Upon exiting the military, he earned a B.A. of economics and M.S. in national security studies at New Jersey City University.
Rivera’s career in higher education began at Middlesex County College’s Veterans Services Center. While coordinator, the Veterans Services Center received several national awards for services provided to the veteran community. Rivera then established the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs at New York Institute of Technology in January 2019. His efforts at New York Tech saw the institution receive several national awards, which include 2020’s Best for Vets College by the Military Times. In January 2020 he was named a Chapter Advisor of the Year finalist by the Student Veterans of America.
“I am honored to join the Saint Peter’s community and I look forward to expanding and supporting the efforts that the University has committed to the men and women who have served, are serving or those who are military family members,” said Rivera. “We are proud of their dedication and aspire to have the University be an environment for their learning, growth and personal discovery after serving the United States.”
On November 10, Saint Peter’s commemorated Veterans Day with a ceremony that paid tribute to alumni veterans as well as hosted a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the opening of the Center for Military and Veterans Services. The Center is dedicated to serving veterans and military-affiliated students in the Saint Peter’s community.
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For 150 years, Saint Peter’s University, inspired by its Jesuit, Catholic identity, commitment to individual attention and grounding in the liberal arts, educates a diverse community of learners in undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional programs to excel intellectually, lead ethically, serve compassionately and promote justice in our ever-changing urban and global environment. To learn more, please visit saintpeters.edu.