UofL football players wore this special POW/MIA sticker on their helmets Nov. 12 for the Military Appreciation Game.
UofL football players wore this special POW/MIA sticker on their helmets Nov. 12 for the Military Appreciation Game.

The University of Louisville community came together Nov. 12 to honor our service men and women with a special Military Appreciation football game, during which a seat honoring prisoners of war and those missing in action was unveiled at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

The seat will remain empty in tribute.

That and other special activities before, during and after the game highlighted our proud history of supporting the military at UofL, which earlier in the month was recognized as a top choice for service members transitioning to civilian life and continuing their education.

The 2017 Military Friendly School Guide, released Nov. 10, included UofL, marking the eighth consecutive year we have made the list.

mfs17_designation“UofL’s mission is to educate, employ and treat military members,” said Renee Finnegan, UofL’s director of military initiatives. “We are proud to be recognized for our efforts and we encourage transitioning service men and women to talk with us about how we can help with their future endeavors.”

Victory Media Inc., publisher of the guide and also publisher of the employment publication G.I. Jobs, said the designation is based on factors such as academic policies, campus culture, admissions and orientation, graduation and career outcomes, military student body composition and financial aid/loan repayment.

The University of Louisville has a long tradition of working to educate members of the United States military. In spring of 1943, when UofL was struggling with budget cuts and enrollment issues due to World War II, it won a United States Navy officer training unit in a program called V-12 that was designed to produce officers.

“Beginning in July 1943 and lasting for three years, the V-12 program boosted the school’s fortunes by replenishing the male student population and bringing in much-needed revenue,” according to “The University of Louisville,” by Dwayne D. Cox and William J. Morison.

Current military-focused programs at UofL include a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and learning; criminal justice; a Master’s in Social Work with a military specialization; and VetStart, which teaches veterans how to start new businesses. Additionally, the Army War College Fellow program, in which an Army leader spends a year studying at UofL, is in its third year at the university.

For the Fall 2016 semester, 971 veterans or military members were enrolled at UofL.

The entire list of schools can be found online at MilitaryFriendly.com. Watch a video from the Nov. 12 Military Appreciation Game here.

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Janet Cappiello covers the College of Business, the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, the College of Education and Human Development, the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Sustainability Council and military initiatives for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism, including working for The Associated Press and magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. She has been at UofL since March 2014.