At University of Maryland University College, we could not be more proud of our student veterans. Supporting our servicemembers and providing them with the education and resources to transition successfully into the next stage of their lives is among our most important objectives. UMUC is pleased to announce that on Veterans Day 2017, we will confer the first-ever General John W. Vessey, Jr., Student Veteran of the Year award in recognition of the student veteran who has excelled in their military career and is achieving their academic goals. The award is named for UMUC alumnus John W. Vessey, Jr., who joined the Minnesota National Guard when he was still in high school and went on to become one of the most accomplished and inspiring military figures of our time.

Vessey graduated from UMUC in 1963, and less than 20 years later, he was appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President Ronald Reagan, making him the highest-ranking military officer in the country.

A lifelong advocate of education, Vessey said that he tried to pattern his own life after a lecture he first heard discussed in a UMUC classroom entitled "The Five Evidences of an Education," by the American philosopher, diplomat, and educator Nicholas Murray Butler. When he retired in 1985 after 46 years of service, he was the longest-serving active member of the U.S. Army.

The award includes

  • Recognition as the General John W. Vessey, Jr., Student Veteran of the Year
  • Scholarship in the amount of $2,250

Eligible students must

  • Be currently enrolled at UMUC as a full-time student in good standing
  • Be currently serving or have previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Have a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Have earned 30 credits at the undergraduate level or 12 credits at the graduate level
  • Be an active participant in MIL-VET Checkpoint, UMUC One2One Mentorship program, or Student Veterans Association
  • Have exceptional moral character and dedication to military service
  • Be able to attend the UMUC Veterans Day Program (UMUC will provide travel accommodations)

Students, staff, and faculty can nominate student veterans by submitting a 400–500 word nomination letter outlining the student's dedication to the military and how they've excelled in the classroom. Nominations should be sent to

To learn more about the ways UMUC works to support and recognize our student veterans, visit our Military Dedication, Awards, and Affiliations page.