UDC’s 17th Annual Veterans Day Observance Program pays homage to those who served

UDC’s 17th Annual Veterans Day Observance Program pays homage to those who served

UDC’s 17th Annual Veterans Day Observance Program pays homage to those who served

Veteran's Day Ceremony 2023
Tiahna Pantovich, founder of VETSxHBCU

In honor of Veterans Day, which is observed on November 10, the University of the District of Columbia commemorated held its 17th Annual Veterans Day Observance Program on November 9 in the Student Center’s Heritage Hall on the Van Ness campus.

President Maurice D. Edington, Ph.D., said that UDC is honored to be an institution where veterans and active servicemembers choose to continue their education.

“Without the dedication of our dear veterans, we would not be able to enjoy the many freedoms we’ve grown accustomed to in our nation. Our veterans know more than anyone else the price of freedom. They have witnessed it firsthand and have seen the unimaginable,” he said.

The President said that UDC is committed to supporting servicemembers and helping to develop public service leaders.

Tiahna Pantovich, founder of VETSXHBCU, said in her keynote address that Veterans Day is one of her favorite days of the year because communities nationwide unite to highlight the service and sacrifices of military veterans.

She said that although her organization is small, its reach is far and its impact is mighty.

“VETSXHBCU aims to provide professional services to veterans in the military-connected community, specifically at each of the nation’s 103 HBCUs. This includes legislative advocacy, advising on VA benefits and connecting military-connected students to hands-on internships and more,” she said.

As a student at Howard University, she used her post-9/11 GI Bill and other VA benefits to pay for her education.

Similarly, her organization’s policy analyst, also a veteran, used his Montgomery GI Bill to pay for his education before graduating from UDC a few years ago, as did the group’s legislative intern, a current UDC student and seven-year U.S. Army veteran.

“I’m sure we’re all aware of some of the former students who have attended this school – individuals who’ve gone on to become U.S. ambassadors, Hollywood actors, police officers, professional athletes, and a whole host of other amazing careers,” Pantovich said.

“One of UDC’s [former] Trustees [retired] Major General Errol Schwartz, was a previous student in these hallowed halls of learning in addition to being the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard. Let us honor him,” she said.

“What you may not be aware of are the incredible individuals who have gone on to live a life in the military and protected our freedoms at all costs, whether it was monitoring radar on an aircraft carrier or responding to natural disasters here. Let us honor them. And now they’ve hung up their uniform and decided to pursue their academic goals, and organizations like VETSXHBCU and schools like UDC are right here, waiting to help in any capacity that we can, and I couldn’t be prouder,” Pantovich said.

“When it comes to supporting the military-connected community, everyone here should be incredibly proud of UDC. Time and time again, this amazing school, the only public land-grant institution in the nation, has paid respect to those whose selfless sacrifices have kept us safe,” she added.