The East Central College class of 2013 marked the start of a new tradition of honoring students who are veterans or currently part of the military.

East Central College President Jon Bauer presented each of these students with a bronze challenge coin at the commencement ceremony Saturday, May 18.

The coin bears the college seal on one side and on the reverse a congratulatory message and the emblems of each branch of the armed forces.

“Service to our nation is an honorable distinction,” Bauer said at the ceremony. “We are proud to recognize this service by our students at commencement ceremonies. This new tradition at ECC gives current and former members of the military the opportunity to be recognized for their academic achievements and selfless service.”

According to Bauer, the idea for recognition came after conversations with ECC staff who have served in the military regarding ways to honor service members on occasions beyond Veterans Day.

Current and former members of the military also wore red, white and blue honor cords with their academic gowns.

GN ECC service members w/photo