From left: Longtime WCC supporters Tim and Laurie Wadhams, student veteran Alberto Acosta, U.S. representative Debbie Dingell, and WCC President Dr. Rose b. bellanca cut the ribbon at the renaming of the Wadhams Veterans Photo by Kimberly A. Borecki-Troiano Center. Photo by Kimberly A. Borecki-Troiano

For many, sacrifice is seen as the ultimate gift. What better way for Washtenaw Community College to say thanks to our veterans than with a day full of festivities and a special, ribbon-cutting ceremony to top it all off?

To commemorate Veterans Day last November, WCC did just that.

The day began with a sunrise flag raising ceremony, followed by a breakfast and luncheon for WCC faculty and staff veterans and a luncheon for student veterans at Garrett’s – the college’s student-run restaurant. Additionally, 2,000 mini-U.S. flags lined the walkways across campus.

The WCC Veterans Center now honors Tim and Laurie Wadhams for their financial support. Photo by Jessica Bibbee

The WCC Veterans Center now honors Tim and Laurie Wadhams for their financial support. Photo by Jessica Bibbee

One of the day’s many highlights was the unveiling of the newly-named Veterans Center, honoring Tim and Laurie Wadhams for their ongoing financial support of WCC, particularly student veterans. The center is now the Wadhams Veterans Center.

The Wadhams’ donation represents the largest gift the WCC Foundation has received and the gift to the Wadhams Veterans Center was the largest given to specifically support veterans.

“Laurie and I are very proud that WCC has named the Veterans Center in our honor,” Tim Wadhams said. “The College has created a best-in-class resource, with a proactive, passionate staff, to insure that our veterans and military families have effective access to the many programs and opportunities that are available to further their education. We are grateful that we are in a position to help those who have served and sacrificed for this great country of ours to pursue their dreams.”

The re-naming ceremony took place on the second floor of the Student Center building. The program also included musical performances by the Plymouth Fife and Drums Corps and the WCC Chorus. Former President of the WCC Student Veterans Association Alberto Acosta was met with a standing ovation as he took the podium. Acosta served in the military as a pharmacy specialist from 2010 to 2015.

“Inside these walls of the Veterans Center are seven people who have touched our lives and helped make that transition easier. We’re a family,” he said. “It’s hard to express with words how grateful I am that they’re in our lives. Support is all we could ever ask for.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell was also in attendance and delivered some informal remarks to the crowd.

“We owe it to you, when you come home, to help you find a job and get an education,” she said. “When it comes to honoring our veterans, WCC is the best place I’ve seen all day.”

There to celebrate and conclude the day’s events was WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca.

“Each one of your sacrifices is unique and deeply personal. But let’s recognize that a sacrifice is the ultimate gift – one given selflessly and without any expectations in return,” she said. “Just saying thank you doesn’t seem to capture the full essence of what we, as civilians, feel today. We appreciate your sacrifices more than words can express.”

For more information about the Wadhams Veterans Center, visit vetcenter.wccnet.edu.

By Princess Gabbara

Writer, Public Relations