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Omaha Magazine

For Five Decades and Counting, Bellevue University Continues to Serve Military Members, Veterans and Their Families

Jul 07, 2020 11:33AM ● By T S
JR Richardson and Stanley Hawkins, Bellevue University

Bellevue University’s military history spans 55 years. 

It all started in 1965 when William V. “Bill” Brooks, a businessman and World War II hero, brought a proposal to launch a college in Bellevue, Nebraska, to a June dinner meeting with the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, which the membership enthusiastically endorsed. 

By 1967, the college saw its first class of students graduate and by 1994 the school was renamed to Bellevue University. 

A lot has changed at the institution in the last five decades, but one thing remains the same: Bellevue University is committed to serving military students and families, veterans and active-duty members. 

Bellevue University currently has seven national affiliated partnerships, which most recently include with the Joint Special Operations University and National Cryptologic School. 

The school also has four base education partnerships, including: Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska, Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, Mountain Home Air Force Base near Boise, Idaho and Hurlburt Field Air Force Base near Pensacola, Florida. 

“Having partnerships with these institutions means we’re able to offer all of our programs to prospective military students, but also to the employees and their spouses, whether they are civilian or military,” Stanley Hawkins, retired United States Air Force and Assistant Director Military Programs, said. “These partnerships give prospective students access to a quality online education, which is especially convenient for those serving in the military.”

Bellevue University is also home to the Military Veteran Services Center (MVSC), 2108 Harvell Circle, which has served over 15,000 veterans since it opened in 2013, said JR Richardson, retired United States Air Force Senior Master Sgt., who directs the center. 

The nearly 6,000-square foot freestanding center has one mission: Provide education services and resources to active-duty military and veterans. The MVSC currently has more than 10 partnerships with local non-profit military organizations, including: Guitars for Veterans, Air Force Sergeants Association, Project Healing Waters and more. 

“Today, Bellevue is here for the military because we continuously seek ways to serve them,” Richardson said. He added that the military center serves all veterans and active duty military, regardless of their circumstances.

Bellevue University also offers classes on base to active duty members, veterans and their spouses in order to support the Offutt Air Force Base community. 

“There are many benefits of offering classes on base,” Scott Kizzire, retired United States Air Force and Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management, said. “Active duty military members can travel straight from work to their class in uniform. Military members also have communicated they are more confident, relaxed and are culturally accepted in an on-base environment rather than traveling to an off-campus location.”

Bellevue University was founded by the military and continues to be here for the military today. 

“We have been helping service members transition to civilian life for over 50 years,” Richardson said. “We understand the needs of America’s Armed Forces and we’re here to help them as best we can by offering accredited accelerated degree programs, reduced tuition rates and support from beginning to end during their time at Bellevue University.” 

For more information about Bellevue University and its military services, visit bellevue.edu/prospective-students/military/