For Memorial Day 2017, Saint Leo University remembers the fallen heroes who have made the greatest sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy as Americans. On this day, it’s also worth reflecting on the rich history of Saint Leo’s affiliation with the United States military.
History of Saint Leo’s Military Affiliation
As early as the 1890s and 1900s, the school was considered a military college. Decades later In 1973, the educational institution began to offer distance learning courses and programs to military members, many of whom served during the Vietnam War. This was at a time when there were limited options for members of the armed forces to pursue higher education, and government aid for this purpose was also quite restricted.
Today, Saint Leo is among the top 10 providers of higher education to military members. The school is ranked among the nation's most military-friendly institutions by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazines. Thousands of Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines members, veterans, and their families are enrolled in courses each year as they pull double duty serving our nation while attaining a college degree simultaneously. A degree can help service members ease back into civilian life down the road by giving them an educational foundation for a fulfilling career.
Saint Leo offers three learning platforms for military students:
- Programs at the University Campus in Saint Leo, Florida
- Programs at one of the 17 education centers on military bases IN 7 states throughout the U.S.
- Programs conveniently available online from any location with an Internet connection
To accommodate the unique lifestyles of military members, the university is partnered with:
· Navy College Program Distance Learning Partnership
· Navy College Program for Afloat College Education
· The Air Force Academic Institution Portal
· Air University Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative Program
· The Marine Corps Lifelong Learning Program’s Academic Explorer
Other Military Connections
In addition to its many partnerships, Saint Leo University is a proud member of the National Association of Institutions for Military Education Services and the Service Members Opportunity Colleges. It also has an ROTC program that is affiliated with the University of South Florida in Tampa and allows students to be introduced to the military and pursue such a career if they wish.
In 2008, Saint Leo commissioned a bronze sculpture for its University Campus to commemorate 35 years of educating the men and women in uniform. On Veteran's Day in 2010, the sculpture was dedicated at a ceremony that drew several hundred active-duty service members and veterans. The sculpture, which is titled "For Those Who Serve," honors the five branches of the military, along with the school’s staff and faculty who proudly assist the nation’s heroes in attaining their educational and career goals.
A Bright Future of Serving the Military
Saint Leo University has had a long and productive relationship with the U.S. military and plans to continue serving the nation’s men and women in uniform in all potential educational aspects for years to come.