How Veterans Contribute to Elite Schools: Real World Perspective
from the LA Times:
U.S. Marines, Stanford University: Stanford's Marines bring real world perspective to elite campusOYE Comment:
On his first day as a student at Stanford University after serving as an enlisted Marine in Iraq, William Treseder rushed to get to the dining hall by 6 a.m.
Stanford dining halls, it turned out, open in the morning at the same time that Marine chow halls close: 8 a.m.
"That was the beginning of understanding of what a different place this is," said Treseder, now 28 and just a few classes away from graduating with a degree in science, technology and society.
Soon he found that Stanford students — bright, hardworking and focused on their careers — were not necessarily anti-military, just ignorant of military service and their generational cohorts who have enlisted. [ . . . ]
Along with his studies, Treseder has become an unofficial leader of a small group of students who have made the same journey: Marine grunts who are now undergraduates at an elite university. [10 veterans including seven Marines of whom six served in Iraq or Afghanistan; two including Treseder served in both. . . . ]
The Marines at Stanford know they are getting a top-notch education. The school has provided financial support so they do not have to drain their veterans' benefits or be burdened by student loans.
Still, they never lose sight of the fact that they are different from other students. An estimated 90% of undergraduates are "traditional" students who arrived at Stanford directly from high school. Most Marines are community college transfers. [ . . . ]
Some students assume that because the Marines have deployed to war zones, they are experts on U.S. foreign policy and cheerleaders for the current strategy. "You try to get into a serious discussion and all you hear is Abu Ghraib, civilian casualties and drone strikes," Treseder said. [ . . . ]
[Chris Clark, 25, who served two tours with a reconnaissance unit in Iraq, received a Combat Action Ribbon and a Purple Heart. Now he's a political science major.] Clark is studying with Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of State and now a political science professor at Stanford. He was in her seminar "Challenges and Dilemmas in Foreign Policy."
Rice favors veterans for her classes: "I've seen first-hand how veterans can elevate and inform classroom discussions because of their real-life experiences.'' [ . . . ]
Veterans, ROTC and military service all add to the diversity of the student body, an important part of the undergraduate experience.
And maybe some of Stanford's traditional college students will be inspired to Be A Man! Enlist!