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CityU celebrates first graduate through partnership with Joint Base Lewis–McChord

City University of Seattle is proud to be recognizing its first graduate from Joint Base Lewis–McChord at the military commencement ceremony on May 12 at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, Washington.

There are currently more than 50 service members from JBLM studying through CityU, which began offering classes onsite in fall 2016. U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Melvin Correa Lopez is the university’s first graduate through the partnership.

Melvin Correa Lopez and his wife

Staff Sergeant Melvin Correa Lopez and his wife, Luz T. Correa

“To be honest, it’s something I didn’t picture myself doing,” Correa Lopez said. “Going to school wasn’t a part of the plan, but to advance in the military, you have to continue your education. It is gratifying though. I have four children and it’s something I can show them that, ‘look, dad did it, and you can do it too.’”

After taking courses at two other institutions without completing a degree, he will be graduating with an Associate of Science in General Studies from CityU.

“I had a bunch of credits and I never finished, never completed, and Lana [Lee] and Mr. [Gino] Burns guided me and showed me how to finish quickly,” Correa Lopez said. “They said, ‘let’s see what you have and work on your degree plan.’ They worked through the whole process with me, I couldn’t have done it without them. Having that extra help really made the school process easier.”

The schedules of military students are often busy as they balance school, work, training and family responsibilities. This was the case for Correa Lopez, too.

“Studying in not my strength; applying myself to study is challenging, but CityU made it easy,” Correa Lopez said. “I took classes online and the school made it easy to adjust and learn. We’re soldiers 24/7. The staff and teachers are willing to help you and understand that you’re in the Army and you have stuff to do, that your schedule is hectic, and they’ll work with you.”

In addition to the support he received through CityU, he had a great support system at home.

“My wife, Luz T. Correa, pushed me and supported me throughout the whole process,” Correa Lopez said. “She made me go to the education center, and she took care of everything in the house and all four of our kids while I concentrated on college. I couldn’t have done it without her.”

City University of Seattle is proud to partner with Joint Base Lewis–McChord to offer educational opportunities to military members and their families. By offering classes on base; discounted military tuition; and partnerships with programs including Camo2Commerce, Troops to Teachers, Vets2PM and more; CityU works hard to make education accessible to service members.

The university is proud to celebrate the achievement of its first JBLM graduate, Staff Sergeant Melvin Correa Lopez, and congratulates him and all the military graduates on their academic successes.