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On Thursday, Nov. 10, hundreds of veterans from within the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill community gathered at the Carolina Club for the 2016 Tar Heel Tribute. The annual event, now in its third year, honors UNC’s student, faculty and staff veterans for their service to their county and to the University.

The honorees, both retired and active-duty, arrived at the George Watts Hall Alumni Center at 11:30 a.m. for networking, refreshments and activities and then enjoyed a seated lunch while listening to three speakers from within the UNC community – two students and one faculty member – followed by a keynote address, delivered by Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Imogene Jamison, Associate General Counsel for the Department of Education Activity.

2016 Tar Heel Tribute speakers (L-R) Eric Schneider, Caroline Cleveland, Imogene Jamison, Eric Strand with Felicia Washington, Vice Chancellor of Workforce Strategy, Equity & Engagement.
2016 Tar Heel Tribute speakers (L-R) Eric Schneider, Caroline Cleveland, Imogene Jamison, Eric Strand with Felicia Washington, J.D., Vice Chancellor of Workforce Strategy, Equity & Engagement.

The event was organized by UNC’s Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Division and began with welcoming remarks from Felicia Washington, J.D., Vice Chancellor of Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement.

“We are thrilled our veterans are among us every day getting to continue to set their example of leadership at Carolina,” said Washington. “They are indeed an important part of our community. They are leaders here on campus, as they have been leaders in the military. And this is just way small way that we salute you”

Chancellor Carol Folt also welcomed guests, calling the event “a chance to say thank you to every one of our veterans and active-duty military.” To the veterans in attendance, she said “You honor us by being here today. We can never say thank you fully for what you give in service of your country.”

The keynote remarks by Lieutenant Colonel Jamison focused on the leadership skills that veterans possess. Prior to Jamison, remarks were delivered by Caroline Cleveland, former U.S. Army Ranger and Doctor of Physical Therapy student at UNC; Eric Strand, retired Green Beret medic and third-year medical student at UNC; and Eric Schneider, retired Navy Captain and Assistant Director for the UNC Institute of Global Health and Infectious Disease.

The UNC-Chapel Hill ROTC presented the colors to open up the event on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.
The UNC-Chapel Hill ROTC presented the colors to open up the event on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.

“The event was truly a blessing to be able to network with fellow veterans. It was also inspiring to hear the speakers tell their stories,” said Dan Atkins, a retired Air Force Master Sergeant who is now a Background Check Specialist for the UNC Office of Human Resources.

“The camaraderie and appreciation expressed after the Tribute solidified our thanks to our UNC veterans and their service and sacrifices during Veterans Day.”

The event also gave UNC’s service members and veterans more information about several of Carolina’s veteran-focused services. In attendance was the Veterans Resource Team, which serves students and employees who are active duty military or veterans, and representatives for UNC’s “Green Zone” training, which educates faculty and staff about issues facing veterans. The University also provides UNC CORE, distance-learning programs designed for service members through the Friday Center, and courses from the Kenan-Flagler Business School.

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