WMU recognized by area veterans as Purple Heart University

Contact: Cheryl Roland
Photo of Scott E. Wilson and John M. Dunn.

From left: Wilson and Dunn

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University was recognized April 20 as the first Purple Heart University in Michigan.

Scott E. Wilson, commander of Battle Creek's Chapter 110 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, joined WMU President John M. Dunn in a ceremony designed to formally confer the Purple Heart title on WMU. The event also was used to introduce a new benefit to Purple Heart students, faculty and staff.

About the designation

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the United States armed forces who are wounded in combat. The award dates back to 1792 when President George Washington first launched the award as the Badge of Military Merit.

Photo of a Purple Heart designation certificate.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart was chartered by Congress in 1958.

The nation's Military Order of the Purple Heart, which was chartered by Congress in 1958, awards the Purple Heart University designation to universities for outstanding service to military service members, veterans, their dependents and their survivors. The resolution honoring WMU lauded the University for its "proud tradition of recognizing all the men and women who have selflessly served their country and the university in the armed forces."

"One of the things I'm most proud of is our focus on empowering those who have served their country well," Dunn said in response to the award. "It's not about the University. It's about people coming together to do the right thing and ensuring our veterans feel honored and valued."

Also during the ceremony, Timothy Unangst, captain in WMU's Department of Public Safety, unveiled a special Purple Heart campus parking permit available to Purple Heart veterans who are students or members of the faculty and staff at the University. The Military Order of the Purple Heart is supporting distribution of the permits to eligible individuals. For more information about eligibility and how to secure a permit, contact Unangst at (269) 387-4607 or Joyce Busch, director of WMU's Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, at (269) 387-0742.

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