Kutztown University, who was recently named a 2022 Best For Vets: College by Military Times for the eighth consecutive year, provides a wide range of services to the university’s active veterans community as part of its commitment to welcoming and supporting military students.
The university’s partnership with Folds of Honor Foundation, an organization that provides life-changing academic scholarships to the spouses and children of fallen or disabled U.S. service members and first responders, extends this commitment and acknowledges the sacrifice of our Nation’s heroes. The university held a formal signing ceremony Thursday, Nov. 10.
Through this partnership, Kutztown University is matching up to $2,000 of the scholarship awarded through Folds of Honor to students of disabled or fallen military service members and first responders. During the fall semester of the 2023 calendar year, this program will support up to five students with the intention of increasing scholarship opportunities for additional students through the support of university benefactors.
“Our partnership with Folds of Honor came together through an introduction made by KU alumni Jim Zellner ’86, a supporter of the university and Folds of Honor. He realized both organizations emphasize the importance of higher education and recognized that together we could provide greater opportunities to students,” said Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, president of Kutztown University. “This partnership enables Kutztown University to close the gap between scholarship awards and the cost of tuition. We are proud that more than 30 percent of our student body are first-generation college students. This partnership furthers our goal of providing the college experience to students that otherwise would not be able to afford or achieve their academic aspirations.”
“Folds of Honor means a lot to me and my family,” said Kurtis Ravenel Jr. ’23. “I’ve been a scholarship recipient all four of my years of my undergraduate career here at Kutztown. It’s taken a big load off of our shoulders. I love what Folds of Honor represents – giving back to veterans who have risked their lives for our country. I just want to say thank you. I’m proud to be part of this and I’m glad this partnership will bring these resources to more KU students.”
Kutztown University’s initiative is modeled after a similar program introduced in 2018 at the University of Memphis.
“Folds of Honor is grateful to Kutztown University for its generous commitment and excited to team up on this program,” said Folds of Honor CEO and founder, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Rooney. “We think this partnership can be a force multiplier to our mission and also gain additional awareness for Folds of Honor and our deserving recipients.”
Folds of Honor Foundation was founded by Lieutenant Colonel Dan Rooney, a decorated F-16 Viper Fighter Pilot. From its inception in 2007, Folds of Honor has awarded about 44,000 scholarships totaling nearly $200 million. Minority recipients represent 41% of all scholarships awarded. In 2022, the organization expanded its mission to America’s first responders, including police, fire, EMTs, and paramedics.