February 02, 2011
UT ROTC cadets practice drills.
Behind the book bags and flip flops, every UT student has their own
story. More and more, these stories include tales of war, as veterans
are the fastest growing group of students on campus.
like Danielle Robbins ’12, who left active duty to come to UT for the
ROTC program. Or Benjamin Bunn ’11 who served in Iraq three times and
now supervises a group of resident assistants.
Robbins was already a junior in college when she decided to join the Army. She came back to UT to finish her degree.
see things differently when you’re a soldier,” said Robbins, a
criminology major. “And when you go from being surrounded by soldiers,
to being surrounded by civilians, it’s a difficult transition.”
said she has found support at UT through the ROTC program as well as
the personnel in the registrar’s office. UT waives up to 100 percent
tuition and mandatory fees for veterans – and their dependents – who are
eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program. Robbins
is a Green to Gold scholarship recipient.
This year the
University has added a veteran student organization, a veteran
orientation for incoming students and a veterans’ advisory board with
representatives from the Registrar, Dean of Students, Academic Center
for Excellence, the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement, Health
and Counseling, Admissions, Graduate Studies, Career Services, Advising
and the Office of the Baccalaureate Experience. Plans are in the works
for a new Gateways-type course specifically designed to address the
needs of veterans.
Because of these efforts, the University has
been named a Military Friendly School by Military Advance Education and
G.I. Jobs magazine.
Bunn, who is at UT on the post-9/11 GI Bill, had been in the Army for 10 years and deployed to Iraq three times.
He said his transition from soldier to student has been aided by the University’s staff.
has an atmosphere that really lends towards the acceptance and generous
treatment of its military personnel,” said Bunn, a government and world
affairs major. “The support mechanisms here for service members are
Bunn has immersed himself in college life, from being
the head resident in ResCom residence hall to running for Homecoming
King this fall.
“Tampa is my hometown and after working at the
University for a year the choice was a no brainer,” said Bunn, who
started as a staff member with the ROTC program before becoming a
student. “My love for the school has only grown since then.”
Bunn said that college has expanded his perspectives on politics and society and has developed his leadership style further.
Army is a command directed and autocratic organization by nature. As a
resident assistant and now a head resident, we work almost exclusively
in a democratic fashion,” Bunn said. “This has helped me grow as a
leader, and I will no doubt take this with me as I progress in my career
as a future leader of soldiers.”
To read more about UT’s veterans, check out the
Winter 2011 issue
of the UT Journal. For more on Veterans Admissions, visit