Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Graduation Ceremony and Moving Forward

Last night marked the graduation for our veterans. The ceremony was a beautiful finish to such an amazing week for both veterans and volunteers alike. We made sure to catch almost every detail on video so that everyone can see and re-live the wonderful event time and again. We even got coverage from the local ABC station:

We began with a lovely serenade of "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes, seen here:

Then, we had a special table honoring and remembering our POWs from the various branches. The symbolism and ceremony surrounding this occasion can be seen in this video:

From there, speaker Will Gunn, General Counsel of the Department of Veterans addressed the FSU EBV Graduating Class of 2010, discussing changes in the GI Bills, and his hopes for their futures.

To finish things off, Dr. Blass announced our two $500 winners, Jeff Smith and Will Shultz, our two $1000 prize winners, Marylyn Harris and Daryl Jackson, and our two $1500 prize winners, Milton Tookes and John Colley. Catch all the excitement here: and here:

Finally, here's a letter from FSU Program Director, Randy Blass, talking about this year's class and our plans for the future. Keep posted for updates about EBV 2011!

Dear Friends of FSU EBV,

We bid an often tearful farewell to 21 of our newest friends last night as the FSU EBV 2010 program came to a close. It was a joyful evening and everyone present was moved by the experience. As this newest class of fledgling entrepreneurs makes their way back home, they will face many challenges. Our program now shifts from the logistics intensive in-residence program to the mentoring phase. Over the next 12 months this class will have direct access to everything from legal counseling to corporate mentors.

We will also be encouraging our grads to enter into business plan competitions in their local areas. That being said, the EBV Foundation, a separate, non-school affiliated, non-profit, established to support the entire EBV effort, will begin offering up to $30,000 annually (exclusive to EBV graduates) business plan competition. I know quite a few of our folks from this year and years past that will compete well.

Thank-you for your continued support,

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