Military students at graduation

BGSU awarded Collegiate Purple Star designation by Ohio Department of Higher Education

Bowling Green State University has been designated a Collegiate Purple Star campus, as announced by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) Chancellor Randy Gardner. BGSU was in the first group of 33 Ohio colleges and universities to receive the distinction based on efforts to support students with military backgrounds.

“Bowling Green has always been recognized as a strong university when it comes to supporting its veteran and service member population, so it’s only fitting that BGSU is among Ohio’s first class of Collegiate Purple Star recipients,” Chancellor Randy Gardner said.

These 33 first-ever Collegiate Purple Star awards advance the work already done by Ohio’s PreK-12 school system to create the Purple Star designation for those schools that worked to become military friendly. Ohio is the first state in the nation to offer these designations.

Collegiate Purple Star

Criteria for being chosen as a Purple Star college or university include having a dedicated military/veteran point of contact and/or office on campus, establishing priority registration for veterans and service members, surveying student veterans and service members – along with spouses and dependents – about needs and challenges, and allowing for the establishment of student-led groups and organizations for veterans and service members. 

The initial Collegiate Purple Star announcement was made at an event in March where Chancellor Gardner was joined by Ohio Adjutant General Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr. and Maj. Gen. Deborah Ashenhurst, USA Ret., Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, whose agencies have provided support for the designation.

Colleges and universities in Ohio were offered the opportunity to apply for the Collegiate Purple Star designation. The designations were then determined by a Collegiate Purple Star Advisory Committee appointed by the Chancellor and composed of members from organizations that include but aren’t limited to ODHE, the Ohio Veterans Education Council (with representation from two-year colleges, four-year universities, and independent institutions), the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department, and the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission K-12 Purple Star Committee.

Best for Vets: Colleges 2021 rankings

BGSU has long been recognized for its support of veterans. The University is ranked No. 1 in the Midwest and fifth in the nation for veterans and active military students by the Military Times in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2021 rankings.

"Every step of the way, BGSU ensures veterans and military students are considered valued members of the campus community," said Dr. Barbara Henry, assistant vice president of BGSU Nontraditional and Military Student Services, at the time of that ranking in fall 2021. "From application to graduation and beyond, Nontraditional and Military Student Services staff routinely connect with students to ensure they succeed in and out of the classroom while building meaningful connections with others in the BGSU military community."

A survey compiled by the publication asks colleges and universities to document a wide array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus.

The Best for Vets ranking is considered the most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student services and their rates of academic achievement. The rankings are part of an editorially independent project that evaluates factors that help make colleges and universities a good fit for active service members, veterans and their families.

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | | 419-372-6349

Updated: 05/27/2022 01:09PM