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challenge coinsThis spring, 75 veterans will graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

UAB Veterans Services will honor them with a graduation cord ceremony set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in the Hill Student Center. Those graduating veterans who have excelled in the classroom with an overall GPA of 3.4 will be awarded a challenge coin.

The cord is to be worn during commencement, and graduating veterans are always recognized at the ceremonies. This is the second time Veterans Services has honored graduating veterans with the challenge coin, which was introduced last year.

“We wanted to find a way to let our veterans know we care about them and their success in the classroom, as well as in life after college,” said Director of Veterans Services Walter Stewart III. “This coin will serve as a reminder of that. When veterans graduate, they already receive red, white and blue cords, and this is another way to congratulate their hard work during their tenure at UAB.”

Many of UAB’s veterans are graduating from online programs as well as on campus, Stewart says. Because service members are particularly transient, often moving from base to base, distance learning programs allow troops to study anywhere, from Alabama or Afghanistan. Online programs also allow students to study at any time of day, a perk for veterans accustomed to working unconventional hours.

Graduating veterans and future graduates will bring a unique experience to the workforce, such as leadership skills, dependability, quick learning and a hunger to succeed.