As a Navy veteran, Brian Stone understands what it’s like to belong to an invisible minority. The president of the Student Veteran Association, Brian has dedicated his time on campus to advocating for veterans and working to create a veteran-friendly campus community.
Brian served as a catalyst in the creation of a Veteran’s Affairs office, which offers resources and disability-appropriate services for returning veterans. Brian also took his support of veterans off campus, working to change tuition rates for veterans. Six months after he voiced his concerns, University of Michigan announced its plans to offer in-state tuition to veterans and the policy has spread statewide. This achievement won him the Distinction Award at the Regional Student Veterans of America/Veterans Service Organization conference.
Brian served as a Mass Communications Specialist during the Japanese Tsunami relief effort. While overseas, Brian earned the Navy Achievement Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, a National Defense Medal, the Overseas Service Medal, and three consecutive Sea Service Medals.
But it’s not just the big achievements that are meaningful to Brian.
Brian says that small conversations, using his personal experiences to educate others about the transition from military to civilian life, have truly been the most meaningful. He hopes that actions have motivated more students on campus to get actively involved with issues they care about.
“Brian is active in our Student Government and works hard to create a welcoming environment for all veterans while dovetailing veteran events to our regular student programming,” said William Emerson III, veteran affairs coordinator.
A German Language Scholar, Brian is inspired by German Professor Liana McMillan, whose passion for German culture encouraged him to pursue German studies. Brian will continue his German studies this summer, studying abroad at the Goethe Institut in München, Germany.