University of Maryland Global Campus is proud to offer the General John W. Vessey, Jr. Student Veteran of the Year Award in recognition of a student veteran who has excelled in both their military and academic careers. The winner will receive a $2,250 refundable scholarship and recognition at the UMGC Veteran's Day ceremony.

This award is available to any full-time UMGC student in good academic standing who is currently serving or has previously served in the U.S. armed forces. Nominations are accepted from the first Monday in August to the last Friday in September each year.

Note: The application period for 2019 is closed. If you have any questions, please e-mail

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for this award, a student must

  • Be currently enrolled at UMGC as a full-time student in good standing

  • Be currently serving or have previously served in the U.S. armed forces

  • Have a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0

  • Have earned 30 credits at the undergraduate level or 12 credits at the graduate level, not including transfer credits

  • Have exceptional moral character and dedication to military service

  • Not be a member of the staff or a student worker of UMGC

How to Apply

Students, staff, and faculty who wish to nominate a student veteran can do so by submitting a 400- 500 word nomination letter to The nomination letter should outline the student's dedication to the military and detail all the ways they've excelled in the classroom. Students are also permitted to nominate themselves for this award, provided they meet all the eligibility criteria. Please note that the application period for 2019 is now closed.

Review Process

Each application will be reviewed by a committee from UMGC's Veterans Initiative Office.

Award Information

This award is named for UMGC alumnus General John W. Vessey, Jr., the only chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who began his military career as an enlisted servicemember. A lifelong advocate of education, Vessey said that he tried to pattern his own life after a lecture he first heard in a UMGC classroom ("The Five Evidences of an Education" by the American philosopher, diplomat, and educator Nicholas Murray Butler). UMGC is proud to offer this award in General Vessey's name.

The Student Veteran of the Year award includes a $2,250 refundable scholarship, as well as recognition as the General John W. Vessey, Jr. Student Veteran of the Year during the UMGC Veteran’s Day event. Attendance at the Veterans Day event is requested; travel arrangements will be made by UMGC.



Master Sergeant Marie L. Villegas, USAF (Ret.)


Gunnery Sergeant Kenny Saavedra, USMC


Staff Sergeant Alicia Hunt, USAF