February 17, 2018

Jessica Roberson: Saluting a Veteran

Most days, you can find Jessica Roberson at the U.C.’s Veteran’s Resource Center, where she helps student veterans apply for GI Bill benefits and transition to student life. She knows of what she speaks. Roberson spent five years in the Air Force managing aircrew flight equipment before enrolling at UMW.  A senior majoring in international business, she also helps coordinate events for the Association of Student Veterans. Though she generally spends her days on the ground heading to classes, she knows what it’s like to jump out of a plane.

Q: What spurred you to join the military?

A: I joined the military when I was 19 years old. My former boyfriend’s dad, who was an Air Force F-15 pilot, constantly talked to me about the benefits and real-world experience that you get from serving in the military, so he really pushed me to join, and I really appreciate him for that to this day.

Q: Why did you choose to study at Mary Washington?

A: I grew up in Fredericksburg and my parents moved to Orange County when I was 16. I’d always been around the campus and really liked the liberal arts feel of this school. I looked online for Veteran’s Administration educational benefits and saw that UMW had a recognized program in the area. Two years ago, UMW had about 400 veterans enrolled with a 75-percent graduation rate, which is pretty high.

Q: What is one memory you have of a special moment on campus that you see intersecting with your veteran status?

A: Devil Goat Day 2016, which was one of my first experiences since I had just transferred to UMW in the spring. It’s really kind of cool to me that the graduation classes come together as a whole on that day, like the odds and the evens. When you are in the military, you depend on that camaraderie and group dynamic.

UMW Commemorates Veteran’s Day

The University of Mary Washington is commemorating Veteran’s Day with a card-signing initiative in the University Center organized by the University’s Association of Student Veterans. A table will be set up by the main staircase of the University Center’s Ball Street entrance on Thursday, Nov. 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The thank-you cards […]

UMW President Pushes Up to Veterans Day Challenge

On Veterans Day 2016, the University of Mary Washington joined the rest of America in honoring all of the military members who have defended our country. On Friday, Nov. 11, UMW held a flag-raising ceremony, bake sale and special pumped-up appearance by President Troy Paino. Along with the Association of Student Veterans and the men’s […]

UMW to Open Veteran Resource Center

The University of Mary Washington will open its Veteran Resource Center on Monday, December 1 to serve more than 400 veteran, active duty and veteran-affiliated students at the institution.   Paul Murphy, a U.S. Marine veteran, is one of over 400 veteran, active duty and veteran-affiliated students at UMW The center, which will be located in the basement of Combs Hall, will provide a central campus meeting space for veterans to get assistance. It will also offer office space for the Veteran’s Administration work study students who will be responsible for office management. “Our veteran community is very important to UMW,” said Douglas Searcy, vice president of student affairs. “We want to ensure that we provide support and service at the highest level.” Services for students will include providing information on using Veteran’s Administration and Department of Defense benefits here at UMW, helping students locate the appropriate office to answer specific questions, collecting data on UMW veteran student numbers and concerns and providing peer-to-peer counseling and general support. The space was a collaboration of the several organizations within the university, including the Veterans Working Group and the Association of Student Veterans, who identified the need and provided recommendations on requirements. The Veteran’s Administration work study students will begin office hours on Monday, January 12, the first day of classes for the spring semester.