By Maui Now Staff
The University of Hawaiʻi Maui College celebrated the grand opening of its newly established Veterans Resource Center today, just days ahead of the Veterans Day holiday on Monday .
It is recognized as the first facility dedicated specifically for veterans in the 10 campus UH system, providing student veterans with a dedicated space to study, network, and receive tutoring and counseling services.
School officials say it also includes a new, private study space, kitchenette, lounge area, and built-in computer desks.
Congresswoman Tusli Gabbard of Hawaiʻi was among the dignitaries who spoke at today’s event saying, “UH Maui College is showing leadership in Hawai‘i for providing necessary services and support for our returning veterans, active servicemembers and their families. Mahalo to all those who had the vision and drive, and put in the hard work, to create this resource and make today’s grand opening a reality.”
Rep. Gabbard said the support of the university will be “invaluable as troops transition back into civilian life, and find ways to continue their mission, contributing in service to our communities.”
Also on hand was Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa who pointed towards the service of his father, uncle and brother-in-law, who are all veterans. “I know they would have appreciated something like this center,” said Mayor Arakawa.
“We can never fully repay their service to our nation but we can at least give our veterans every resource available to help them reintegrate back into civilian life,” he said.
The renovations were made possible through a $9,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation , and the volunteer work of Maui store employees, as well as members of the UHMC Veterans Club that began last September.
“Today’s opening of the Veterans Resource Center is an opportunity for all of us to express appreciation to our service members and the sacrifices they have made for our country,” said UH Maui College Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Dr. John McKee in a university press release. “It’s also a day to celebrate the community effort that created this campus resource for student veterans.”