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University of North Texas Receives Historic Gift from Denton VFW

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DENTON, Texas — The University of North Texas (UNT) Student Veteran Services has been granted a significant boost in the form of a $25,000 endowment. This historic gift comes courtesy of the Denton chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and their families.

UNT President Neal Smatresk expressed his gratitude, stating, “This is a special moment for us. We are so grateful for all you’ve done for us. Your generosity is amazing.”

The Veterans of Foreign Wars is a renowned nonprofit organization with local chapters, or “posts”, dedicated to providing support services to veterans and their families. The Phil Miller VFW Post 2205, which is situated in Denton, is responsible for this generous endowment. Additionally, family members of veterans have the opportunity to join auxiliary posts.

This endowment will fund a $1,000 scholarship annually for a UNT student veteran. The funds for this endowment are split evenly, with half coming from VFW Post 2205 and the other half from the VFW Auxiliary Post 2205.

James Davenport, the Director of Student Veteran Services, highlighted the uniqueness of this gift, noting it as the first endowment gifted by an individual VFW Post to a Division I school in the country. “This endowment comes from the heart,” Davenport remarked. “The greatest thing about it is that this will serve students for years to come, long after I’m gone.”

Tim Qualls, the Commander of Denton VFW Post 2205, shared the enthusiasm. He mentioned a personal connection to UNT, as his daughter recently graduated from the institution. “This is a very big day for the post and auxiliary,” Qualls commented. “We couldn’t be happier to be doing this with UNT.”

The new endowment will complement the existing scholarships offered by Student Veteran Services, such as the Emergency Scholarship Fund, which aids students with university-related fees and other expenses like rent and car repairs.

Serving over 3,000 UNT student veterans and their dependents, UNT’s Student Veteran Services offers assistance with enrollment, finances, and understanding benefits. The office also provides a communal space for these students to connect with peers who have had similar experiences.

With a reputation for being veteran-friendly, UNT has received accolades like being designated a Purple Heart University and a Top Ten Military Friendly Tier One Research Institution.

Adriana Edwards, an integrative studies senior and a worker in the office, emphasized the importance of guiding veterans and their families through the often complex processes. “As a veteran dependent, I think it’s important for someone to be there for veterans and their families,” she said, “to give direction for what comes next.”

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