Protect, Serve and Celebrate!

In a year that has been fraught with unprecedented challenges, it’s more important than ever to acknowledge the service of those who preserve the liberties and freedom we hold dear. On behalf of everyone at Penn State, thank you to the individuals and families who have made sacrifices in service of the United States of America. You bring honor to our great nation.

Penn State has a proud tradition of serving the men and women of our military and giving back through education, benefits, resources and more. In addition to year-round efforts, our annual Military Appreciation Week celebration is an opportunity for the Penn State community to join together to honor and publicly commend those who have bravely served our country. This year's ninth Military Appreciation theme celebrates veterans — including many Penn State students, staff and faculty — who have served.

Like so many other things this year, our Military Appreciation Week will feature virtual events to support health and safety guidelines due to the pandemic. I will miss seeing everyone on campus, but our Military Appreciation Committee, chaired by Colonel Eugene McFeely, Penn State’s senior director for Veterans Affairs and Services, along with many volunteers, worked incredibly hard to make it a memorable, safe and special week. You are invited to tune in to the adapted Veterans Day Ceremony, which will be streamed online beginning at 11 a.m. at, featuring video messages from the Penn State community. The day also will feature a virtual yoga class, a conversation with student veterans, and a discussion on mental health.

Our vision is that Penn State’s many efforts will be widely emulated as an example of what higher education can do to address the needs of our nation’s armed forces, veterans and their families. Today, more than 5,600 Penn State students have direct military ties as either service members, veterans or military dependents, across all of Penn State’s campuses, including World Campus. We are dedicated to helping them achieve their educational goals with a variety of services and support resources. Consider just a few Penn State military focused initiatives.

I ask that everyone take a moment to reflect on and remember our own family and friends who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Please express your appreciation for their commitment to serving and protecting our nation.

We are proud of your courage and sacrifice, and we are honored that you are part of the Penn State community. Happy Veterans Day! I hope you enjoy the rest of this week’s activities and I look forward to seeing all of you on campus in the future.