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SVA Programs

Collage of attendees and images from the event

On Friday, April 15, 2022 graduating student veterans were invited to celebrate and receive a red, white and blue cord to mark their approaching milestone – graduation. The Office of Student Veterans Affairs and Dean of Students were happy to host student veterans and their guests for this inaugural event. The Graduating Student Veteran Recognition Reception and Cording Ceremony will become a premier tradition to which other student veterans will look forward. Programs like this celebration serve as an important demonstration of UIC’s commitment to recognize veteran student success along with the support team that many of their guests represent. UIC alumni, Brett SanPietro served as the guest speaker and offered a welcome to our emerging alumni.

Brett SanPietro is a former career diplomat who has served in East Africa and Pakistan as well as postings in the U.S. Department of State’s Intelligence and Research Bureau and Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism. Brett served on active duty in the U.S. Army as an infantryman, including a deployment to the Horn of Africa region in 2003. Since then he has earned commissions as an intelligence officer in the Army Reserves and later the Navy Reserves. Brett is the recipient of the Department of State’s Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards and two commendations from the Director of the FBI. Most recently, Bret served as Director of Operations for Team Red, White & Blue. He holds an MBA from George Washington University, a BA in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has recently been published in the book Voices of the 9/11 Pentagon Recovery Effort: Essays from the U.S. Army’s Old Guard. Originally from the Detroit area, Brett and his wife Lara currently reside in Chicago with their dog Chewie. Brett enjoys running, long-distance biking, and all manner of table-top board games to include some classic D&D every now and then.