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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Feb. 10, 2011) – Building upon a strong spirit of collaboration, leaders at Whiteman Air Force Base and the University of Central Missouri are working together to develop a new partnership for the future. Called “The Whiteman Advantage,” the project brings together personnel and resources from WAFB and UCM to create a shared vision of community while improving opportunities for servicemen and women on campus.
Providing direction for this initiative are Brig. Gen. Scott Vander Hamm, commander of the 509th Bomb Wing at WAFB, and Chuck Ambrose, UCM president. They brought together a diverse group of individuals in January 2011, including Warrensburg city government leaders, representatives of the Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, airmen at WAFB, and representatives of the university and base for a dialogue about what a shared vision means to all stakeholders.
The university is going directly to the individuals who can benefit from educational programs and services to learn more about their specific needs and how the university can better serve them. UCM will work with WAFB to pave a path for base personnel through opportunities at the university, looking at amenities, services, special features, resources and other tools that provide a welcoming environment to campus for those who serve their nation at WAFB. The university will continue to work with its Division of Student Affairs, Intercollegiate Athletics, and Enrollment Management to move forward with opportunities that will better engage base personnel in the university experience.
“Our goal is to provide increased opportunities for Whiteman personnel and their families to access the opportunities offered by UCM,” Ambrose said. “This segment of our local population also has a great deal to offer the university in terms of their experience and training. We’re looking forward to the collaboration.”
A reciprocal relationship exists between WAFB, UCM and the local community that will only be enhanced by initiatives such as “The Whiteman Advantage.” For many years, the base has been a tremendous resource and willing partner in collaboration on projects in academic areas such as aviation, safety, military science and more. Thousands of servicemen and women also contribute to the economic and social growth of the local community.
UCM, in turn, provides educational opportunities that will help equip military personnel with new knowledge and skills that will not only serve them in their current profession, but prepare them for careers once they have concluded their military service. The university also serves as a cultural and artistic hub, where military personnel and the community can come together to enjoy a myriad of guest speakers, sports and entertainment activities.
In 2010, Missouri received $949,617 in federal funding for a joint effort to develop a program to reduce the use of alcohol by underage WAFB airmen. UCM is a partner in the effort with the Missouri Department of Public Safety, WAFB, the cities of Warrensburg and Knob Noster, and Johnson County. UCM, in conjunction with Warrensburg Area Partners in Prevention (WAPIP), received a sub-grant from the Department of Public Safety to coordinate and implement the project.
In accordance with the university’s commitment to expanding efforts to meet the needs of UCM’s military population, Ambrose recently announced the appointment of Delilah Nichols as coordinator for active duty and military veterans at UCM. Nichols most recently served as administrative assistant to the university president. She assumed her duties Jan. 31.
“Ms. Nichols is a perfect fit for this role,” Ambrose said. “She has served three university presidents in an executive assistance role for 11 years, and she is well versed in the operations of the university with a total of 15 years of service to UCM. She will provide the individual attention to detail that will make the UCM experience beneficial to the Whiteman community.”
“I am honored that President Ambrose asked me to serve in this capacity with Whiteman,” Nichols said. “I very much look forward to the opportunity to be actively engaged in assisting our military friends in the educational, campus and community experiences.”
To learn more about “The Whiteman Advantage” and other cooperative activities between UCM and WAFB, contact the Office of University Relations at 660-543-4640.