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Military Honor Cords Added to Penn College Graduation Regalia

John C. Carlson (U.S. Navy, retired), a Veterans Affairs Work-Study student at Pennsylvania College of Technology who graduated May 14, wears a red-white-and-blue honor cord acknowledging his military service.Veterans traditionally are recognized for their military service during Pennsylvania College of Technology commencement ceremonies. This year, the acknowledgement was enhanced by an addition to the graduating veterans’ commencement-day apparel.

Red-white-and-blue honor cords were added to the caps, gowns, stoles and other academic regalia worn by veterans in the Class of 2011. A total of 36 veterans petitioned to graduate this year, according to Joann Kay, veterans affairs coordinator.

Students like Stephanie A. Dimon, of Avis, inspired the addition of the cords to the traditional honors at the ceremony. She is one of three students who work in the college’s Financial Aid Office as Veterans Affairs Work-Study students; the others are John C. Carlson (U.S. Navy, retired), who graduated May 14, and Blaine M. Cohick (U.S. Army National Guard).

“It’s nice to be recognized,” said Dimon. “And the best feature is that it (the cord) doesn’t cost the veterans anything.”

Dimon, who served eight years with the Air Force, earned an associate degree from Penn College in 2010; she is continuing her studies toward a bachelor’s degree in legal assistant/paralegal studies, hoping to graduate in 2012.

In total, 330 veterans were enrolled at the college during the last semester. Nearly one-third of those students (101 individuals) earned prestigious medals for their service. They include three recipients of the Purple Heart, five Bronze Star recipients, 76 who earned the Iraq Service Medal and 17 who earned the Afghanistan Service Medal.

All graduating students who plan to march at commencement now are eligible to receive a cord honoring military service if they have earned an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions, are on active duty or in active drilling status.

Students were informed of the opportunity in April and asked to contact the veterans affairs coordinator with proper documentation to secure the cords.

Penn College was designated among the nation’s most “Military Friendly Schools” by G.I Jobs in 2010 and 2011.

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