Columbia College possesses a proud and long relationship with the United States military and veteran communities spanning more than 50 years. CC has ranked top 10 in the most military-friendly higher education institutions in the nation for the past three years and ranks No. 1 in Missouri for veterans.
The college was recognized in 2019 as a Purple Heart College by the Military Order of the Purple Heart Society while boasting the second-largest chapter nationally of the SALUTE Honor Society for veterans. Among the institution’s more than 40 locations nationwide, 22 sites with more than 3,000 military students reside on military installations, where the college provides higher education services both in seat and online to military personnel, dependents, spouses, installation employees and veterans.
In 1999, Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month. Within the month are six national observances: Loyalty Day, Public Service Recognition Week, Victory in Europe Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day.
The CC community came together throughout the month of May and proudly acknowledged all six observances by thanking military members and veterans for their selfless service while honoring students, staff, faculty, alumni and relatives who have served in the Armed Forces.
“Our 50-year relationship and service to our veteran and military-connected students is significant to Columbia College,” says retired Lt. Col. Robert Boone, associate vice president for Strategic Partnerships and Projects, who joined the college after a 26-year Army career. “It is part of our mission of service.”
On May 1 at CC’s main campus, faculty and staff participated in Loyalty Day inside Atkins-Holman Student Commons by writing their definition of loyalty on a “We Are CC” display.
On May 12, the college celebrated Military Spouse Appreciation Day, recognizing the unparalleled strength and sacrifice that all service members’ spouses display each day. Columbia College was proud to honor military spouses and the vital role our military families play in keeping our Armed Forces strong and our country safe.
On May 19 outside the Brig. Gen. Charles E. McGee House, home of the Ousley Family Veterans Service Center, the CC community gathered again for a special Military Recognition Picnic and Awards Ceremony. Boone and Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing Dixie Williams welcomed attendees, including generous donors who made the scholarships and awards possible.
Assistant Vice President for Strategic Communications Sam Fleury provided a background of the college’s military scholarships and announced the recipients of this year’s awards, comprised of 11 unique scholarships and 33 individual student awardees.
A complete list of 2023 military scholarships and award recipients is below. Congratulations to all of these outstanding students, and thank you to the generous contributors who made these scholarships possible.
Brig. Gen. Charles E. McGee ’78 Scholarship
Karley Patrick, Online
Christian Daen, Online
Aaron Strickland, NAS Fort Worth, Texas
Brandon Atkinson, NAS Fort Worth, Texas
George H. Ousley Jr. and Gayleen Ousley Veterans Scholarship
Marqeece Fowler, Jacksonville, Florida (given in honor of George Ousley Jr.)
Mike Craig, Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri (given in honor of Gayleen Ousley)
Sage Snow, Evening (given in honor of Greg Ousley)
Scott Baxter, Online (given in memory of the Ousleys’ son, Jay Ousley)
John Bridgeford, Mesquite, Texas (given in honor of Greg’s daughter, Grace Ousley)
Col. Mike Randerson Scholarship
Tanya Rollins, Online
Stacy Brown, Online
Amanda Smith, Denver, Colorado
Lee Terry Russell Military Spouse Scholarship
Jennifer Martinez, Online
Dr. Alan Harris Missouri Veterans’ Assistance Endowed Scholarship
Hannah Bishop, Evening
Salute Honor Society for Veterans Chapter Scholarship
Shelby Clayton, Online
Landon Miller Endowment for Veterans Scholarship
Gabriel Familia, Day
Assisting Women’s Achievement Military Heroes Scholarship
Julie Thompson, Online
Alexus Jenkins, Day
Erika Goellner, Online
Karissa Long, Day
Christine Weimer, Online
Dr. Calvin S. Posner ’76 Military Award
Erica Mikell, Waynesville, Missouri
Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo Endowed Scholarship
Emily Gladbach, Moberly, Missouri
Megan Parker, Online
Noelli Vazquez, Orlando, Florida
Samantha Ward, Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Tre Daniels, Online
Jaivon Daniels, Online
Zara Brooks, Fort Stewart, Georgia
Paula Turner, Whiteman AFB, Missouri
Sammy Wilt Gallagher, Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Linette Langaney, NSB Kings Bay, Georgia
Andrew Helmreich Spirit of the Warrior Memorial Award
Brad McMillion, Day
Closing out the month of May, the Columbia College community and the entire country celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, May 29. Americans are encouraged to pause, wherever they are, at 3 p.m. local time to observe a moment of silence in honor of those who gave their lives to keep us free.
All are invited to join members of CC leadership, including President Dr. David Russell and First Lady Lee Russell, at 9 a.m. Monday at the Boone County, Missouri, Courthouse as the college lays a wreath in honor of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great nation.