WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Eleven years after it started, UCF’s Veterans Academic Resource Center serves a growing student-veteran population


Play Audio

1,400 flags are planted at the UCF memory mall, each one representing a student-veteran at the university. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE


This week the memory mall at the University of Central Florida is dotted with flags: 1,400 of them to represent the students attending the university who are veterans. It’s a lot more students than when UCF’s Veteran Academic Resource Center was established more than a decade ago. 

“The veterans Academic Resource Center was established on Veterans Day 2010. It was basically because there were changes in the educational GI bill benefits and we as a nation, were going to see a lot more veterans going back to school,” says  Joshua “JJ” Johnson, the student resource specialist at the VARC.

Joshua ‘JJ’ Johnson. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Johnson says the VARC was the brainchild of Jim Middlekauff, who was the assistant registrar at UCF and a US Navy veteran.

“Between him and his boss, Dr. Paul Viau, [they] decided that there needed to be a central place for all of our student veterans to come, to have a centralized location to have their GI Bill benefits processed, to engage with other student veterans, to have that advocate that they needed to offer career and academic advising.”

Back  in 2010, Johnson says there were about 700 student-veterans at UCF. Now says Johnson, every semester they serve as many as 1,400 student-veterans and about 1,000 students who are dependents of veterans and attending college on the GI bill.

“A success story for the VARC overall is that we’re still here, 11 years later, and the student population has grown, and so the needs for our student veterans have grown.”

Johnson says the flags will stay on the memory mall until Friday.

On Veterans Day itself, Johnson urges people to observe two minutes of silence at 2.11 pm ET.

 

 


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

GET THE LATEST
Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »

TOP