The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 10, 2013

Pitt-Johnstown saluted as Military Friendly School

Kelly Urban

JOHNSTOWN — For the fifth consecutive year Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the Military Friendly Schools list by Victory Media, the media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life.

The 2014 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

UPJ President Jem Spectar said to be recognized with the honor for the fifth year is a tremendous source of pride for the UPJ community.

“We are deeply grateful for the service of our military veterans and are strongly committed to their success as they transition from their military careers to the classroom and beyond,” he said.

Through its MountainCat Veterans Program, UPJ offers accelerated admission review, priority registration, deferred tuition payments, credit evaluation and designated points-of-contact in key administrative and student services departments.

Fifty-six military veterans were enrolled at the university during the last academic year.

On Veterans Day 2011, UPJ unveiled the Heroes Memorial, a memorial honoring the military men and women whose lives were lost in Afghanistan and Iraq.  At the center of the memorial is a 3,500-pound steel I-beam from the World Trade Center surrounded by the names of the more than 3,000 victims of Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the names and ages of military personnel killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

St. Francis University in Loretto also was named to the Military Friendly Schools list.

St. Francis’ military office participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, veteran’s affairs and oversees the university’s ROTC program.

Employees also help students with the application, financial aid and scheduling processes while the military affairs office assists veterans who seek physical and mental health services by providing them with contacts for the campus and surrounding communities.

The Military Friendly Schools list was compiled through research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for VA tuition funding.

Kelly Urban is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at