2018 Veterans Day Celebration Will Recognize 16 Veteran Scholarship Recipients

Highlighting the Success of UH Manoa Nursing’s Five-Year Veteran Initiative Grant

The UH Manoa Office of Veteran Student Services (OVSS) will host the 2018 Veterans Day Celebration on Thursday, November 8, 2018, at Hawaii Hall Lawn on campus. The event will honor all veterans and will recognize 16 student veterans who received scholarships to pursue higher education. This event is free and open to the UH Manoa campus.

Posting of colors

The celebration will include Posting of Colors by the UH Manoa Army and Air Force ROTC Joint Color Guard, and the National Anthem and State Song will be performed by the UH Manoa Band. A moment of silence to remember the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and civilians in times of war will be followed by remarks from OVSS Director Kenith Scott, UH Manoa Nursing Associate Dean for Research and Global Health Kristine Qureshi, and UH Manoa Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Vice Chancellor for Research Michael Bruno. The celebration will be followed by a free cake reception honoring the U.S Marine Corps upcoming 243rd birthday on November 10, 2018.

Major General Suzanne P. Vares-Lum, Mobilization Assistant to the Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) from Camp Smith, Hawaii, will be the keynote speaker. MG Vares-Lum is the first female Major General of Native Hawaiian ancestry in the U.S. Army. She received a Master of Education in Teaching and a Bachelor of Art degree in Journalism from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She was inducted into the University of Hawaii Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Warrior Battalion General Officer Hall of Fame in 2016. MG Vares-Lum is the first female UH ROTC graduate to achieve the rank of General Officer and is the 18th General Officer to commission out of the UH ROTC program.

Attendees at Veterans day

OVSS supports active duty military, veterans, reservists, National Guard, and military-connected students. The office is committed to providing support for veterans transitioning to college and during their journey through college. This is the fifth and final year that the UH Manoa Nursing, Veterans to Nurses Program will assist with the coordination of the Veterans Day Celebration event. This program also provides support to veterans interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree in nursing by providing college credit for veterans past medical experience and creating a pathway to professional nursing and employment for service members with skills and experience in health care. The initiative is the first program of its kind in Hawaii and is part of the national effort to address the growing demand for health care services throughout our nation.

UH Manoa Nursing Dean Mary G. Boland, DrPH, RN, FAAN said, “UH Manoa Nursing is proud to be one of 20 schools of nursing and the only program in Hawaii to participate in this national initiative. Veterans are a vital community asset and we are fully committed to providing them with excellent nursing education.”

Highlights of the UH Manoa Nursing, Veterans to Nurses Program:

  • Worked with UH Manoa to establish a director position for the Office of Veteran Student Services, to ensure academic and social support for student veterans attending UH Manoa.
  • Established the annual Veterans Day Celebration event for UH Manoa and successfully coordinated five Veterans Day events.
  • Provided free red, white and blue patriotic honor cords to graduating student veterans to wear at UH Manoa Commencement Exercises. The cords represent the sacrifice, service and commitment to excellence that all student veterans share.
  • Actively promoted UH Manoa and the Nursing Program to prospective student veterans and active duty military, and built relationships with Education Office on military bases.
  • Furnished the Student Veterans Lounge located in Saunders Hall, to provide a study and social location for veterans, military connected students and their friends.
  • Spearheaded the campus-wide multi-department effort to welcome and recognize veteran’s service to our country.
  • Increased the number of student veterans enrolled in the UH Manoa Nursing Bachelor of Science program.
  • Provided $177,095 in scholarship to 41 nursing student veterans enrolled at UH Manoa, Kapiolani Community College, Kauai Community College, and Maui College with funding from the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust.
  • Provided $5,000 in scholarship to 2 nursing student veterans enrolled at UH Manoa with funding from the Shelley Wilson Nursing Scholarship for Veterans.
  • Hosted multiple social events for the past five years, to foster camaraderie and friendship for student veterans attending UH Manoa.
  • Created a 5-part video workshop series “What You Need to Know About Student Veterans” aimed to increase teaching faculty awareness of student veteran’s unique needs and provide tools for a veteran-friendly classroom.

Guests at Veterans Day

This is the fourth year that the Veterans to Nurses Program received funding from the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust to provide 11 scholarships to student veterans pursuing careers in nursing. Student veterans received between $750 to $8,595 to further their nursing education at UH Manoa and Kapiolani Community College. Scholarship recipients are all veterans and have served in the U.S. Air Force, Army, and Navy.

This is the first year that OVSS received funding from the Sidney Stern Memorial Trust to provide five scholarships to UH Manoa student veterans via the Student Veteran Scholarship Fund established with the UH Foundation. The Sidney Stern Memorial Trust is devoted solely to the funding of charitable, scientific, medical, and educational organizations. It endeavors to support soundly-managed charitable organizations which give service with broad scope, have substantial effect on their target populations and contribute materially to the general welfare. Scholarships ranged from $600 to $1,475. Recipients are all veterans and are pursuing undergraduate degrees from botany, business, kinesiology and rehabilitation sciences, and graduate degrees from kinesiology and rehabilitation sciences, and law.

Photos from the event can be viewed in the UH Manoa Nursing Flickr album Veterans Day Celebration 2018.

This event is supported by the Office of Veteran Student Services, UH Manoa Nursing Achieving a BS in Nursing – A Veterans’ Initiative Program, the Student Veteran Organization, and the UH Manoa Student Activity & Program Fee Board. Special thanks to the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust for supporting nursing student veteran scholarships and to the Sidney Stern Memorial Trust for providing scholarships to UH Manoa student veterans. For more information about the Office of Veteran Student Services visit

The UH Manoa Nursing Achieving a BS in Nursing – A Veterans’ Initiative Program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Grant no. UF1HP26981 Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention Veterans’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program for $1,397,888. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government. For more information about the Veterans to Nurses program visit

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