Nick Lanier, Regis College’s new director of veterans programs, says he is excited to help servicemen and women, and their families, achieve their higher education goals. But his job is much more than that.
“I am most interested in how we integrate our students who are military-connected into the larger Regis community,” said Lanier, a veteran who served from 1999-2012 including two deployments during Operation Iraqi Freedom. “The veteran experience is fundamentally a human experience.”
Lanier brings to the role a unique blend of being both a user of higher education veterans programs and having worked in enrollment management, helping other veterans take advantage of those same opportunities.
After medically retiring from the military at 38 years old, the father of four daughters used the GI Bill® to get his bachelor’s degree and went on to become the assistant director of veteran recruitment and enrollment at The College of Saint Rose, a Sisters of Saint Joseph institution in Albany, New York.
“At Regis there are a lot of opportunities to expand the veteran footprint,” Lanier explained. “We want any military-connected person to have a relatively quick path to get done what they want in college. And once they are in the fold, I see part of my job as being there with them the entire time.”
Regis College takes great pride in the programs and support it provides to military-connected students, faculty, and staff. Recently designated a Military Friendly Institution for the fifth time in six years, Regis participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, houses a Veterans Center in St. Joseph Hall, and this past spring semester hosted a series to enhance financial education for military personnel and their families.
“Regis is excited to welcome Nick to our community as we continue to build ways to engage with our military-connected learners at all levels,” said Laura Bertonazzi, dean of undergraduate enrollment and retention. “We look forward to Nick’s energy and skills as he brings new programming to our community around the experience of our veterans and their families.”
Lanier, who started at Regis in early July, says breaking down stereotypes associated with the military and demonstrating that service isn’t a veteran’s entire identity will greatly benefit the campus community.
“The military is a perfect cross-section of the U.S.,” Lanier said. “A college campus can be the place where everyone can come together to understand and discuss those experiences. And Regis can be the exemplar of how to do it right.”