A program for returning veterans seeking a Fordham education will be launched this fall.

FordhamVets, an initiative including the University’s undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, will ensure that academic and support programs are as “veteran-friendly” as possible.

Fordham also has committed to participating in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Yellow Ribbon Program. This provision of the GI Bill encourages degree-granting institutions to provide tuition assistance to veterans above standard VA education benefits.

Designing and implementing FordhamVets are the responsibilities of a task group appointed by Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. The group is co-chaired by Michael Gillan, Ph.D., dean of the undergraduate college for adults, and Peter Vaughan, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Social Service.

Members include student service and financial aid officials, as well as Steven Dougherty, the past president of Laurel House, who attended Fordham’s earlier program for Vietnam-era veterans, eventually earning his doctorate. Another member is Paul Tobin, currently pursuing his master’s in social work at Fordham, who is president of the United Spinal Association and leads the service organization VetsFirst.

Juan Fortes of the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs will serve as an adviser to the group.

“Fordham has always served the veteran population,” Gillan said. “With so many coming home and getting on with their lives, we want to make sure we are ready to help them.”

Vaughan, a Vietnam War veteran, said, “I can think of few things more important than assisting these men and women to achieve their goals.”

Involving all three of the University’s campuses, FordhamVets’ first event will be an open house at Fordham Westchester, to be scheduled later this spring.