University’s Veterans Council receives $10,000 grant

Wilkes University’s Veterans Council has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the VetCenter Initiative grant program, a partnership between Student Veterans of America (SVA) and The Home Depot Foundation to renovate a center for veterans on campus.

A space in Conyngham Hall has been designated as a veteran resource center, and will serve as a focal point for veteran’s activities on campus.

Student Veterans of America chapters across the country competed for this award, with the 50 best plans receiving grants to turn these plans into reality.

Since 2008, Student Veterans of America (SVA) has helped those returning from military service obtain the resources, support and advocacy needed to achieve success in higher education and after graduation.

“This grant means a lot for our club,” said Wilkes University Veterans Council President Kellie Pelko. “To receive it is an honor and confirmation that all our hard work paid off last semester.

“In short, this grant means a future for our club. It means we can grow and reach more veterans that need help. Our club worked hard to get this grant because we know it will draw people to our cause. It will give veterans on campus a place to relax and feel safe.”

Retired Col. Mark Kaster, Wilkes’ veterans outreach coordinator, said the award affirms the University’s commitment to veterans.

“Wilkes creates a culture that connects our students to veterans and our veterans to students,” he said.

Wilkes has previously been honored for its work with veterans by earning the Military Friendly Schools designation five times.

The recognition, presented to 15 percent of all colleges and universities, honors those schools doing the most to make campuses a welcoming place for veterans returning to school.  The award is presented by GI Jobs magazine.

The Wilkes University Veterans Council is open to all students wishing to become involved with assisting and raising awareness about the University’s growing veteran community. All are welcome.

For information on Wilkes University’s Veterans Services, visit