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Owens Named Among Ohio’s Inaugural Collegiate Purple Star Campuses as Leader for Military-Affiliated Students Copy link to clipboard

Posted on May 26th, 2022

Owens Community College’s outreach to those who serve or have served our great nation dates to its opening in 1965. The Rossford Army Ordnance Depot once occupied a site that is now a short walk to the College’s Veterans Hall. An Ohio Historical Society marker commemorates the location.

Owens has continued to refine and advance its services for military-affiliated students ever since. As a state leader in veterans’ services, the State of Ohio announced its inaugural class of College Purple Star Campuses, including Owens Community College.

Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner made the announcement in advance of Memorial Day weekend and during Military Appreciation Month.

“Owens Community College has a long history of providing a supportive environment for military-affiliated students,” Dr. Dione D. Somerville, Owens President, said. “Being named a College Purple Star Campus in the inaugural class is truly an honor and a testament to the work we’re doing with our military-affiliated students who are seeking a higher education and pathway forward in life.”

Led by Sharron Pappas, Manager of Veterans Services (Navy), Owens served more than 500 military-affiliated students in the 2021-22 academic year.

Student veterans, active duty service members and dependents and spouses of veterans have access to Veterans Hall, which includes a lounge area, study room, kitchenette and computer lab.  These military-affiliated students also have an opportunity to get involved in the Owens Student Veterans Organization (SVO), which is registered with the national Student Veterans of America. Student veterans have the option to apply for scholarships through the SVO.

A total of 33 colleges and universities in Ohio received the Purple Star designation. Ohio is the first state in the nation to award Purple Star designations.

“Congratulations to the 33 schools chosen as the first College Purple Star Campuses,” Governor Mike DeWine said. “Thank you for being examples of Ohio’s proud tradition of honoring our servicemen and women. With these Collegiate Purple Star Award designations, servicemembers, veterans and military-connected students are able to pursue higher education knowing that their school has the necessary support system and guidance to help them find their next steps.”

For more information about Owens Community College Veterans Services, please visit