Campus & Community

New initiatives for veterans announced at Buchtel Tower rededication

The University of Denver’s Buchtel Memorial Tower was rededicated May 28 in honor of the nearly 500 military veterans now part of the student body.

Located on the south side of campus, Buchtel Memorial Tower is all that remains of the Memorial Chapel building, which was destroyed by fire in 1982. The building was completed in 1917 and named in honor of alumni who died serving their country during World War I. In 1949, Memorial Chapel was renamed the Buchtel Chapel after Chancellor Henry Buchtel, who served as chancellor of the University from 1900–1924.

At the dedication, Donald Sturm, a former Army psychologist, University of Denver trustee and founder and chairman of ANB Bank, announced support of two initiatives aligned with the University’s ongoing commitment to veterans.

To assist veterans with the unique mental health issues they face, the Sturm Family Foundation and DU’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP) have partnered to create a new specialty education and training track with dedicated clinical services for veterans. The Sturm Specialty in Military Psychology will help create more knowledgeable and skilled mental health care providers for veterans and will expand services for veterans in the Denver and the University of Denver communities.

“We are extremely grateful to the Sturm Family Foundation for partnering with us to address this urgent need,” said GSPP Dean Shelly Smith-Acuña. “The Sturm Specialty in Military Psychology will provide our students with the knowledge needed to deliver high-quality psychological services to veteran and military populations. In combination with a new dedicated Veterans Clinic, this specialty follows our 40-year history of uniquely integrating research, service and training to respond to community needs. Our aim is to create a national model in specialty training for veterans.”

Sturm, a graduate of the University of Denver’s law school, also announced the creation of the Veterans Advocacy Project (VAP) at the Sturm College of Law, which will provide legal advice and services to assist with the myriad legal issues many veterans face.

“Augmenting Denver Law’s robust roster of externship offerings, the new Veterans Advocacy Project (VAP) presents an invaluable experiential learning opportunity for our students that would not be possible without the strong support of the Sturm Family Foundation and the leadership of Ann Vessels, who will be directing the project,” said Martin Katz, dean of the Sturm College of Law. “The VAP was created in direct response to a growing need for legal services that assist veterans, and Denver Law is honored to serve those who have served our nation.”

Sturm, who has supported several units at the University of Denver, including the Sturm College of Law, which enrolls more than 1,200 aspiring lawyers, says the gifts to support veterans are especially important to him.

“The Sturm Family is committed to creating positive change for those who have defended and served our country,” Sturm said. “We believe that our partnership with both the Graduate School of Professional Psychology and the Sturm College of Law will effectively educate and train mental health practitioners and lawyers to better deal with the unique needs of veterans on the DU campus, both in dedicated veterans’ clinics and through the careers these students undertake after graduation.”


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