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NEWS | Sept. 27, 2023

Kentucky University opens doors for Guardsmen

By Sgt. 1st. Class Benjamin Crane, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Leaders from the Kentucky National Guard met with Highland Heights-based Northern Kentucky University (NKU) leadership on Sept. 27 to formalize a partnership that will enable Citizen-Soldiers a smoother path to graduation.  


Kentucky’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Hal Lamberton, was joined by NKU’s interim president, Bonita Brown, in signing the Memorandum of Understanding. 

With the signing of the MOU, Kentucky Guard Service members will have streamlined access to educational support through the NKU Veterans Resource Station (VRS). 

“The MOU signing between NKU and the Kentucky National Guard is a historical event signifying our commitment to the uniqueness of them being a Citizen-Soldier and a college student,” said Rusty Mardis, coordinator of the VRS. “The MOU symbolizes NKU’s dedication to our Kentucky National Guard students and aids them to be successful in college, career and life.”  

According to the Kentucky Guard leadership, such collaborations serve the dual purpose of facilitating their members’ personal growth while equipping them with skills and knowledge beneficial to their roles in the Guard. 

“It really is an honor for us to build this relationship with NKU,” said Lamberton. “This is going to benefit the Veterans who are part of the NKU student body. It's going to benefit the folks who are part of their ROTC program. It's going to benefit the men and the women who are part of the Kentucky National Guard. So, as we enter this relationship, it's the proverbial win-win for everybody.” 

Mardis addressed the audience, including students, faculty and Guardsmen, on behalf of NKU and the VRS. 

“I am extremely excited and very grateful for these leaders to commit our resources, our time, our passion. In other words, we have the highest appreciation for you, our Kentucky National Guard Service members, and for your educational success. To say in a different way: we got you,” said Mardis.  

Mardis finished his remarks to the guests in the crowd with a quote from President John F. Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words but to live by them.” 

Northern Kentucky University is an entrepreneurial state university of more than 15,000 students on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky, and bustling downtown Cincinnati. They are a regionally engaged university committed to delivering an innovative, student-centered education, empowering our graduates to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives, while contributing to the economic, civic and social vitality of the region.  Learn more about the school at 

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