West Liberty University’s 2014 Great Gala will take place at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, April 12, at Glessner Auditorium, Oglebay, and is sponsored by Ryan Ferns Healthplex.

Ryan Ferns is shown with WLU student and United States Army Veteran Colby Matthews at the Ryan Ferns Healthplex, Benwood, W.Va.

Great Gala Title Sponsor Ryan Ferns is shown with WLU student and United States Army Veteran Coleby Mathews at the Ryan Ferns Healthplex, Benwood, W.Va.

“I would like to recognize Ryan Ferns for his continued support as title sponsor for the Great Gala. His third year commitment to this event means a great deal to the University and the students who will benefit from his support,” said Director of Development Angela Zambito Hill. Proceeds raised this year support the College of Education scholarship programs.

The patriotic theme selected for this year’s Gala honors post World War II America and its veterans.

Several student veterans, enrolled at WLU will be special guests at the affair.

“I’m pleased to represent the United States Army, where I served for six years and the student veterans here at West Liberty. WLU does so much to accommodate and assist veterans like myself in our college careers,” said Coleby Matthews, Shadyside, Ohio. Matthews is a political science major and a freshman.

Mathews will be joined by Corey Adkins, Moundsville and Clint Shephard, Wheeling. Both Adkins and Shephard are enrolled in Master of Science in Physician Assistance Studies program here at West Liberty.

West Liberty University works hard to provide veterans with individualized assistance in admissions and all aspects of the college experience. Veterans GI Bill Coordinator Cheryl Mielke is an important part of this effort.

“When veterans come here, they may need special help. I’m the contact point and I track down facts and answers for our veterans on a variety of questions,” Mielke said.

“Because GI Bill processing can be difficult, I walk them through it. I also work with family members who may inquire for the veteran and need to gather facts,” she added. Mielke has served WLU’s veterans for nearly 15 years and remembers the dramatic scene in her office after 9/11 as a result of that military call up.

West Liberty University is proud to be named to the Military Friendly Schools for 2014. The Military Friendly Schools ® list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensuring their success on campus.

For more information, please call Institutional Advancement at WLU, 304-336-8888.

Veterans wanting to enroll can reach Mielke at 304-336-8129 or visit the Veterans Admissions webpage.

To view WTRF Channel 7 coverage of the 2014 Great Gala, please click here.