Graduating students received an official military and veterans stole from Texas Tech.
Graduating military service members and veterans received their official military stole Thursday (May 14) at the stole ceremony hosted by Texas Tech University's Military and Veterans Programs (MVP). The military and veteran students will don their military stoles at the commencement ceremonies this weekend (May 15-16).
The stole ceremony began in 2012 to honor students who serve or have served the country.
“It is a great honor to be able to award our veterans with this special stole,” said Ryan Van Dusen, director of the Military and Veterans Program. “Texas Tech is the first university to grant the camouflage stole in the nation. We are proud of the hard work and sacrifices our students have made to be able to walk across the stage.”
The ceremony took place at the Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium at the Museum of Texas Tech, where almost 100 military students were presented with their official military stoles.
The Military and Veterans Programs serves more than 1,800 students attending Texas Tech who are service members, veterans or dependents of veterans. Texas Tech also has more than 350 faculty and staff members who served and work to help military students succeed. MVP assists students with a seamless transition from military to civilian life, supports and encourages campus and community engagement and also helps provide a positive experience throughout students' college experiences.
Marcos Hidalgo, a wind energy student from Houston, has been serving in the military for seven years and said he is thankful to Texas Tech and MVP for making his educational experience possible.
“The staff at MVP is always there,” he said. “Whether it has to do with benefits or anything in general, they are always willing to help. If they don't know the answer, they'll put us in touch with the people we need to talk to. Ryan has always been a pretty good resource for us.
“I'm the first one in my family to graduate from college, so I'm really proud of this accomplishment. Texas Tech has made it a pretty good place to be, especially with being so far from home. I will miss some of my professors, as I have gotten pretty close with a lot of them. Thank you to all for making this journey a possibility.”
The MVP stole ceremony occurs before every commencement ceremony to honor all military students each semester.