Military

Celebrating Veterans Day at Brandman University

November 14, 2014 by Guest Contributor

fazioThere are more than 22 million veterans in the U.S. according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and as the nation rallies to salute those who have bravely served on this Veterans Day, Brandman University invites people to join a unique effort to support veterans who are overcoming obstacles to earn a college degree; today Brandman launched an online fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $10,000 for the Bryan A. Fazio Scholarship. The non-profit institution created the scholarship fund last year to assist veterans who are wounded, disabled or facing other medical challenges such as cancer.

The scholarship is named in honor of Bryan Fazio, a U.S. Navy veteran and Brandman alumnus who continues to inspire the university community. Since his diagnosis with an aggressive form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2010, he has earned two master’s degrees, one in business administration and a second in organizational leadership, and this fall he enrolled in law school with the hope to become a voice and legal advocate for veterans.

“We created this scholarship to honor Bryan and his strength, brave determination and dedication to assisting other veterans,” said Brandman Chancellor Gary Brahm. “After all he has been through, Bryan has undertaken a personal crusade to assist wounded and disabled Vets by providing them with direction and guidelines to access much-needed benefits these survivors are entitled to as a result of their sacrifices for our country. He is truly a hero and we are proud to honor him with the creation of the scholarship so that other veterans can benefit from his inspiration.”

Brandman’s Military Heritage

Serving military and veteran students is a big part of the organizational DNA at Brandman University – in fact, it is how the institution got started. Born in 1958 at the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in Orange County, Brandman’s original purpose was educating soldiers in the post-World War II era as a special service of Chapman University. By establishing an academic program directly on the base, Marines could tap into the new G.I. Bill education benefits while still remaining on active duty. Initially known as the Residence Education Center, the program became widely popular among G.I.’s and began to thrive, eventually taking the name Chapman University College (CUC). Over time, additional CUC campuses were established on other military installations across the west coast, and academic programs were expanded to meet the educational needs of military personnel and their spouses. Over the next four decades, CUC would steadily grow to provide access to higher education for thousands by expanding offerings to non-military, adult students.

University Named in Honor of WWII Vet Saul Brandman

In September 2009, the name was formerly changed to “Brandman University” to honor a significant founding gift from the Brandman Foundation, a charitable trust created by the late philanthropist Saul Brandman and his wife Joyce Brandman, who continues to serve on the university Board of Regents today. Mr. Brandman proudly served in the U.S. Navy as a Corpsman First Class during World War II.

“Education for military personnel is a key focus for the Brandman Foundation because of Saul Brandman’s background in the military and his understanding of the importance of a college education to build successful careers after serving in the military,” said Mrs. Brandman.

Today, Brandman University is a separate, regionally accredited institution within the Chapman University System, dedicated to serving the needs of all working students, military and civilians alike.

“Nearly a quarter (23%) of the student body is comprised of veteran and active duty military students, and we are proud to have a number of faculty and staff who are veterans; to all of those who have so bravely served, we say thank you,” Chancellor Brahm added.

“Despite military education benefits, a significant number of veterans don’t have college degrees indicating that other factors besides cost and access need to be addressed,” Chancellor Brahm said. “At Brandman, we understand that veterans may be experiencing unique situations that may impact their educational endeavors and overall goals, and I’m proud of the support we provide students through the Office of Disability Services-Accessible Education.”

With Brandman University’s proven track record in educating military and veteran students since 1958, the university aims to make a substantial difference in helping veterans overcome barriers and realize success in post-military careers. While a growing number of U.S. veterans are utilizing benefits under the post-9/11 GI Bill, veterans sometimes face big obstacles when pursing higher education and organizers of the online fundraiser for the Bryan A. Fazio Scholarship hope their efforts will continue to make a positive impact for veteran students at Brandman for decades to come. To donate click here.

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