The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the University of Wyoming
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One of the University of Wyoming’s most esteemed positions is held by a veteran. On Dec. 6, Dick McGinity was named interim president of UW. McGinity served five years as a naval aviator, including three deployments in Vietnam. We asked him about UW’s efforts to hire more veterans and provide services to student veterans.
Why do you think it’s important to make an effort to hire veterans at UW?
I guess I’m biased on that, but these veterans will all have learned the kinds of lessons that I did, and they’re important lessons. In my opinion, they make those individuals realize they’re members of a team and that how well the team does as a whole is more important than how they do individually, and that’s very valuable in an organization. In addition, they have a work ethic. They are indoctrinated to have a sense of responsibility and duty in what they do. They are valuable contributors to an organization in my mind, assuming you have them in positions suited to their individual skills.
Why do you feel it’s necessary to have services like the Veterans Services Center at UW?
When I got out of the Navy, this would have been in the early ’70s … at that time there was no thought that veterans might need some support or re-entry counseling or anything like that. I would like to think that in my case I didn’t need any, but I knew lots and lots of people who really, really did and who got none.
These people have experienced life and death risk. … I think that society really has an obligation to [provide the needed support].
From the Office of the President to the loading docks of Washakie Dining Center and all the classrooms in between, veterans help make UW what it is today and will continue to have a hand in shaping the university’s future.