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Our Story

Waynesburg U.’s Veteran and Military Affiliated Center celebrates grand opening

Aug 10, 2023
Steimer, Lee and Gaudlip at ribbon cutting ceremony
(L-R) Michelle Steimer, President Douglas Lee and Tony Gaudlip

Waynesburg University’s Veteran and Military Affiliated Center celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting Thursday, August 10.

Made possible by a generous donation from Range Resources, construction on the Center was completed this summer.

During the ceremony, remarks were provided by Tony Gaudlip, Vice President for Operational Planning at Range Resources and a U.S. Army veteran; Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee; and Dr. Michelle Steimer, Director of Veteran and Military Student Services and Initiatives and Assistant Professor of Counseling for the Graduate and Professional Studies Counseling Program.

“We at Range Resources have long recognized the importance of supporting veterans,” said Gaudlip, who referenced various grants and service initiatives that Range Resources leads in support of non-profit veterans’ organizations. “This Center will not only strengthen our relationship with Waynesburg University, but most importantly, will provide our veterans with important resources.”

Attendees included Sen. Camera Bartolotta, Greene County Commissioner Betsy Rohanna McClure, and representatives from the Pennsylvania National Guard, the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, the U.S. Army Reserve, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler’s Office, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Department of Veterans Affairs, West Virginia University ROTC, City Mission, GBU Life, Range Resources and Waynesburg University.

Located at the heart of campus, on the first floor of Miller Hall, the new Veteran and Military Affiliated Center offers dedicated programs and services for veteran and military-affiliated students; information and assistance with military benefits and resources; a gathering point for veteran and military-affiliated students; and a place to learn about Waynesburg's connection to service in the Armed Forces. The Center will also serve southwestern Pennsylvania through community outreach and service-learning opportunities to connect University students to military members and veterans.

The Center is a reflection and recognition of the long history of service to country ingrained in the Waynesburg University tradition. An important element of that tradition is providing services to our veterans.”

President Douglas G. Lee

“The Center is a reflection and recognition of the long history of service to country ingrained in the Waynesburg University tradition,” said President Lee. “An important element of that tradition is providing services to our veterans.”

In 2022, the University launched an initiative to better serve the needs of veteran and military-affiliated students and their families. As part of this initiative, the new Center helps streamline and grow the University’s established veteran and military services in a physical location, at the heart of campus.

“I am so grateful to our leadership and staff at Waynesburg University, Range Resources, and our community partners for making our Center a reality for our students and community,” said Dr. Steimer. “As a veteran and member of our University, I am excited for our future, as we will now be able to collaborate with our students, local military units, veteran service organizations, and community leaders to improve lives.”

Responsible for the review of University policies to create and implement military-friendly changes on behalf of veterans, active-duty military personnel, reservists and dependents, Dr. Steimer’s ability to recognize the specific needs of the military community stems from her extensive military background, having served in the United States Army and Army Reserve for more than 22 years. She has been both enlisted and an officer, and currently serves as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve in Pittsburgh. Her husband, Drew, also serves.

“Waynesburg University has the expertise, commitment to service, and dedication to faith and learning to continue to build resources that will benefit veterans, both students and community members, in the areas of veteran education, corporate hiring, service access, and advocacy,” Dr. Steimer said. “The University provides a place for veterans to learn, grow, and remain in service of others.”

Dr. Steimer has also worked for the Department of Defense, served as president for the Pennsylvania Military and Government Counseling Association, and served as an expert and consultant in military and veteran culture and mental health on both national and international levels as a counselor educator.

Charles Stoddard, who serves as the Assistant Director of Veteran and Military Student Services and Grant Program Manager and Training Coordinator at the University, also brings a wealth of valuable experience and knowledge to the Center.

Between active duty and being in the Army Reserve, Stoddard has served in the Army for 18 years and worked as a combat medic for 16 years, which included serving as an infantry platoon medic during deployment in Iraq. More recently, he has served as a personnel officer.

In addition, Stoddard served as an Army Division Suicide Prevention Program Manager for six years, during which he was responsible for providing mental health and crisis resources for 7,000 soldiers.

Why Waynesburg?

At Waynesburg University, veteran and military-affiliated students receive a range of services built specifically for the needs of professionals with fast-paced lives, including priority registration; 1:1 personal support with dedicated veteran and military-affiliated staff for both online and on campus students; tuition discounts for Graduate and Professional Studies programs; and programs and services designed by veterans for veterans.