November 8, 1973.
On this day, a group of 25 IUPUI students met to organize a group to address the needs of military veterans on campus. They noted that at the time there were about two thousand veterans in the student body. Students present wished to encourage fellow veterans to exercise their G.I. Bill education benefits. Once organized, the group planned to survey student needs, evaluate education benefits available to veterans, establish a Veterans Council as a adjunct to the IUPUI Veterans Advisory Committee, link with a national organization of student vets, and work in the community on service projects.
At the time, just as the United States was withdrawing troops from South Vietnam after having had millions of American service men and women cycle through Southeast Asia to prop up the South Vietnamese government against a Communist insurgency and incursions from Communist North Vietnam, the issues of veterans' reintroduction to civilian society were prominent. Earlier in 1973 IUPUI had opened its Office of Veterans Affairs with federal grant funding to meet veterans' needs. Mike Hamilton, coordinator of the office, led a small group of admissions, financial aid, and counseling staff to work with veterans enrolled in the university.
Today the IUPUI Office for Veterans and Military Personnel serves both veterans and active-duty students.
To learn more about this and other aspects of IUPUI's history, please contact IUPUI Special Collections and Archives firstname.lastname@example.org.