Quincy University recently earned the 2020-2021 Military Friendly® school designation, exhibiting leading practices in recruiting and supporting post-military students. Military Friendly® is the military rating division of VIQTORY, a service-disabled, veteran-owned business. The mission of Military Friendly® is to create maximum professional opportunities for our nation’s military service members, veterans and military spouses.

“The Quincy University community is very proud to once again be recognized as an institution friendly to veterans and their families.  To receive this distinction year over year acknowledges the university’s commitment to living out its Franciscan values of hospitality and the creation of a caring community where each person is valued for his or her unique gifts, talents and experiences, especially those who have given service to our country.  To be a welcoming place for veterans is very much consistent with our identity as a Franciscan institution and it is an honor to welcome these special people to our campus every year,” said Tom Oliver, vice president of enrollment management.

Quincy University graduate student Martin Smith enlisted in the Army Reserve as an 88M in 2007 right out of high school. While in the reserves he completed the ROTC program at the University of Illinois and earned his bachelor’s degree in education. The Army Reserve offers people the opportunity to work in their civilian careers or attend college full time while serving near home.

In 2012, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant as an Army Engineer officer and served active duty from 2012-2018. He served a total of 11 years in the Army Reserve.

“I genuinely enjoy looking back at my experience in the military. As an enlisted soldier, I figured out a lot about myself and what I took for granted. I recommend that everybody goes through an experience like basic training,” said Smith. “Not only do you learn valuable life skills, but you can identify what is important and what is superficial in your life.”

Smith learned many valuable lessons during his time in the military like how to manage resources, determine what is important, prioritize and then focusing on that goal. One of Smith’s goals is to teach. After weighing his options and looking at several schools he chose the Quincy University Graduate program.

“Going through the program here at QU, I’m able to get my masters and certified to teach in 2 years,” said Smith. “The choice was easy.”

Smith’s experiences in the military have prepared him for his graduate classes and his future teaching career. He learned how to balance everything in the most effective way possible. While in the military Smith was responsible for expensive equipment and for planning exercises that required coordination and precise execution. He had to make decisions that could potentially change people’s lives. He made decisions that drastically changed the course of his life.

“I liken being in the military with what Dan Gable said, ‘Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easier,’” said Smith. “Once you have dealt with pressures like what I experienced in the military, nothing else really seems as bad.”

Smith currently works at Quincy Senior High School as a facilitator in the Credit Recovery Program and assistant wrestling coach.

The Military Friendly® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data­-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. The survey is administered for free and is open to all post­secondary schools that wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.

Founded in 2001, VIQTORY is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs® and Military Friendly® brands.  VIQTORY and its brands are not a part of or endorsed by the U.S. Dept of Defense or any federal government entity. Learn more about VIQTORY at www.viqtory.com.

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University (www.quincy.edu) is celebrating 160 years as a Catholic, co-educational, liberal arts, residential university. Quincy University offers undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Faculty and advisors work with each student to design a customized success plan to help them graduate on time, find their passion and prepare them for life. Quincy University’s intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women. For more information, please contact the Quincy University Office of Community Relations by calling (217) 228-5275. Quincy University. Success by Design.