A place to call their own

Aug 26, 2013

The Janet Manion Military and Veterans Center
The Janet Manion Military and Veterans Center is set to open Sept. 9 at Delaware Valley College.

Delaware Valley College’s military and veteran students will have a place to call their own on campus this fall. The Janet Manion Military and Veterans Center, which will be housed in Elson Hall on the College’s main campus, will be a one-stop place for veterans, military personnel and dependents to relax with people with shared experiences between classes, get help with paperwork for educational funding, and get support from staff and peers. There will be an opening celebration for the Center on campus, in Elson Hall, Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.

Col. Tom Manion (Ret.), Janet Manion’s husband; Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley; RADM Stephen K. Chadwick, USN (Ret); and a military student are scheduled to speak at the ceremony. Brian Freer, a 2009 alumnus, will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the saxophone. There will also be a color guard at the celebration.

The Center is named in honor of the late Janet Manion, the founder of the Doylestown-based Travis Manion Foundation. Manion died of cancer in 2012. She was the mother of Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion, who was killed while serving his country in 2007. The Travis Manion Foundation serves veterans and the families of fallen heroes. Before Manion passed away last April, she was awarded an honorary degree from DelVal. Manion was one of 20 finalists for the 2012 Citizens Service Before Self Honor, awarded by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation for bravery, courage, and commitment to service.

“I’m honored to have known Janet Manion, a woman who dedicated her life to tirelessly fighting for the people who fight for this country,” said College President Dr. Joseph Brosnan. “When her son was killed, she used her grief to start a foundation that has touched the lives of countless people. Her work and that spirit will live on through the Manion family’s foundation and at Delaware Valley College through this center for our students.”

All of Delaware Valley College’s military and veteran students, as well as local government officials, College trustees, the College’s President’s Advisory Council, and high-ranking military officials have been invited to attend the celebration.

Ongela Djerf, a 2010 alumna and a military veteran, is thrilled to see the Center opening on campus. Djerf is in the process of earning her MBA at the College.

“This center is a really wonderful addition to campus,” said Djerf. “There are a lot of other colleges and universities putting in centers, but the focus will make this one really special. A veterans center should be a welcoming place. I used to go to the commuter lounge and it was almost too much, always loud. This will be a great place for people to find any resource they need, a safe-haven, and a place to talk to people with shared experiences.”