TROY – Troy University has become the first university in America to be designated a “Purple Heart University.”
The move comes in an effort to honor veterans who have been given the award that was created by Gen. George Washington. The Military Order of the Purple Heart is granted to those service members who have been killed or wounded in battle.
“Our status as the first Purple Heart University in America is a natural extension of TROY’s long history of service to the men and women in uniform,” said Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. “We are proud of the thousands of our students and graduates who are serving in harm’s way and it’s with pride that we serve them and support them.”
One of the newest support efforts the University has undertaken is the creation of the Troy for Troops Center, a one-stop center for military students to access University services and problem resolution. In addition to the TROY for Troops Scholarship, given to dependents of TROY alumni killed in action, the University has established the TROY for Troops Military Tuition Discount Scholarship for each branch that will discount all tuition above that which is allowable by tuition assistance.
Currently, the University enrolls about 7,000 active-duty military personnel, National Guard members, Reservists or veterans, and 62 TROY alumni serve as general or flag-rank officers or as members of the Senior Executive Service of all four branches of the U.S. military. Over the past 30 years, 123 TROY alumni have retired as general or flag-rank officers from all branches.
The University’s tradition of military service has its roots in 1950, when it began offering extension courses at Fort Rucker. Later, these operations were expanded to Maxwell Air Force Base and these centers became the forerunner to what is known today as Global Campus, the division of the University that operates teaching sites outside the state of Alabama and internationally.
Headquartered in Troy, Ala., the University operates campuses in Montgomery, Dothan and Phenix City in Alabama, and sites in seven states and six nations.
Several members of the University’s senior leadership team are themselves veterans, including Chancellor Hawkins, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam. He has also served as chair of the Board of Visitors for Air University, housed at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery.
While no official lists of Purple Heart recipients exist, it is estimated that about 1.7 million Americans from all wars and conflicts hold the award. In Alabama, there are 718 members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart of Alabama, although that membership does not include all Purple Heart recipients, which number more than 7,600 since 1932.
University officials formally signed a resolution designating the University in March.