October 30, 2013
Contact: University Relations
The Bob Parsons Veterans Center at the University of Baltimore—named in honor of Bob Parsons, B.S. '75, D.H.L. '08, founder and executive chairman of GoDaddy, in recognition of his $1 million gift through The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation to establish the center—will officially open on Monday, Nov. 11 at 12:30 p.m. Parsons, UB President Robert L. Bogomolny, Semper Fi Fund President, CEO and Founder Karen Guenther and other officials, along with students, faculty and staff, will attend the opening ceremony at the UB Town Hall in the University's Learning Commons, 1415 Maryland Ave.
Parsons, a veteran who served in Vietnam, said his vision for the center is based in his experiences as a former soldier coming back to civilian life and seeking out an education.
"I attended University of Baltimore on the G.I. Bill after returning from Vietnam," Parsons said. "UB was exactly what I needed at the time. The Marine Corps taught me how to pay attention, how to be reliable and how important it is to do what you say you're going to do. Leveraging those newly acquired skills, UB taught me how to become a successful business man. My vision for The Bob Parsons Veterans Center is for America's veterans to find hope, community and a future at the University just like I did."
"Because of the generosity of Bob and Renee Parsons, UB can become a national model for how universities support current and returning veterans," said Bogomolny. "We want to not only support the educational aspirations of our student veterans, we also intend to bring the expertise of our faculty and staff to veterans' issues locally, regionally and nationally."
The center will emphasize a seamless process for addressing veterans' needs, including academic advising, guidance on financial aid and veterans benefits, and career counseling through graduation and beyond. In addition, the Parsons gift will launch The Bob Parsons Veterans Psychology Clinic, which will specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and research of veteran-related issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder. National studies indicate that approximately one in five veterans from recent U.S. conflicts suffer from PTSD or traumatic brain injury. Finally, The Bob Parsons Veterans Law Clinic will focus on veterans' legal issues, building on the UB School of Law’s successful clinical program, which is ranked 28th nationally by U.S. News & World Report.
"The new Bob Parsons Veterans Center will provide the facilities, staff and programs which will allow the University to exponentially increase their reach and make veteran advocacy part of their core mission," Parsons further explained.
Steven Collins, a graduate student in the Merrick School of Business and a veteran officer in the U.S. Navy, said he anticipates that the center will be an "incredible asset" to UB’s student veterans, as they transition from their military duties to the life of a student.
"The Bob Parsons Veterans Center will provide all of the necessities a veteran could ask for," said Collins, who also serves as president of the Military Veterans of the University of Baltimore organization. "It will be the ideal location for us to seek information, help, mentorship, and most of all, relationships with others going through similar circumstances. These are the resources veterans need to help complete our studies and provide us with the encouragement to push on when we are confronted with adversity—the end result being higher graduation rates for veterans and a chance for us to become leaders in our communities."
More than 28,000 Maryland veterans have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that number is expected to grow in the coming years as troop deployments are decreased. While students who have served in the military are known for their training, discipline, perseverance, teamwork and dedication, an important part of their transition to civilian life can involve targeted coaching, job placement training and additional education.
Learn more about The Bob Parsons Veterans Center.
The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.
About the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation
The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation inspires hope by providing critical funding at critical times to communities striving to make a difference. The Foundation primarily focuses on issues in the greater Phoenix area. The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation believes every person is entitled to an education, good nutrition, medical care, a stress-free happy environment and the hope that they too, will share in the American Dream. The Foundation provides funding to non-profit organizations that are successfully addressing these essential needs. The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is also committed to the children of Haiti, helping to grow and improve schools, medical services and overall well-being for communities in rural Haiti through the Hope for Haiti organization.