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URI Veteran and military-connected students fall welcome, orientation – TODAY




Happening Today—URI Center for Military and Veteran Education hosts fall welcome and orientation for student veteran community Aug. 31

All veteran and military-connected students are invited to attend

Close to a year into his tenure at the University of Rhode Island, Bob Flynn, director of URI’s Center for Military and Veteran Education, is looking forward to the new school year. Flynn joined the University in November, following 28 years of service as a naval flight officer in carrier-based aircraft, retiring as a commander.

The first item on his agenda includes a special orientation for student veterans and Military-affiliated students onThursday, Aug. 31. The orientation will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in the Memorial Union, 50 Lower College Road on the Kingston Campus, and is open to new and returning students.

“Everyone is welcome,” said Flynn. “We are here, we want our student veterans and family members to be aware of the programs in place and benefits that are available to them – and we want to connect them to the community that exists here on campus.”

The orientation will include an introduction to URI’s Center for Military and Veteran Education and its staff as well as URI’s Student Veteran Organization. The center, which opened in the Memorial Union in September 2022, serves as a homebase and a way to connect members of URI’s veteran and military community to one another and to the programs and support to help them succeed.

The orientation will also cover questions related to VA and military education benefits; tuition waivers; URI student resources including tutoring, academic advising, accomodations; and even questions related to housekeeping items such as Student IDs, URI Health Services, and bookstore accounts. Campus tours will also be available.

Prior to joining URI, Flynn was on the military faculty of the Strategy and Policy Department at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport. It was that experience that got him thinking about higher education.

“I liked the environment and having the opportunity to teach,” said Flynn. “That’s what made me think about URI and being able to make a difference with veterans and family members who are entering or returning to college and helping to make that transition easier.” 

In the past year, Flynn has enjoyed working with students, staff and faculty to do that and found everyone to be extremely helpful and invested in both his success and the success of the student veteran community at URI.

“It’s been fun learning URI as an institution. There has been a lot to learn but people have been really great and have opened their doors to our veterans and their causes,” said Flynn, who is proud of what he’s accomplished so far.

“I think we have been doing a great job at helping to make sure people are using their benefits, but there is always more to do and more ways to help. I think people know – or at least I want them to know – that when they come into the center, if they have a problem, I may not be able to solve it for them, but I can get them to the right place or the right person to help them and make sure it happens.”

The orientation is just one part of that.

“In the coming year we want to continue to strengthen our student veteran community and to create opportunities for them inside and outside of URI,” said Flynn. “Really, we want to further our goal of being one of the best universities to go to in the country if you are a veteran.”

The Fall ’23 Veteran and Military Affiliated Student Orientation will take place in the Memorial Union, Atrium 2, and is open to all student veterans and family members. Registration is recommended. 

URI students in 1954 at Veterans Memorial Union – meet you at the mural!