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Webster to rename Veterans Center in honor of former president Tom Palozola

Thomas Palozola was a leader on the campus in Webster Groves and served as president of the Student Veterans Organization.

Webster University is hosting a dedication ceremony for its Veteran Center on Friday.

The Veterans Center will be renamed the Cpl. Thomas Palozola Veterans Center in honor of Thomas Palozola.

Palozola completed a bachelor’s degree in Management in 2015. He was continuing his graduate studies at the time of his death in May.

Palozola was a leader on the campus in Webster Groves and served as president of the Student Veterans Organization.

He served multiple tours as a U.S. Marine, in Iraq and Afghanistan. He received a Purple Heart for his service in Iraq. In May, Palozola took his own life.

President Elizabeth J. Stroble and Provost Julian Schuster will speak at the dedication and present a proclamation to Palozola’s family members. Palozola’s brother, Matt will speak at the dedication.

The dedication ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. at 200 Hazel Avenue.

Palozola led the effort to secure a $9,000 grant for the on-campus Veterans Center in June 2015. The money was used to upgrade the Veterans Center.

“Tom was the reason we have a vet center on campus," said Jason Blakemore, Webster University’s Vet Success on Campus (VSOC) counselor. "His work ethic and positive attitude were unmatched—he was willing to do anything to help. He did so much for the SVO at Webster.”

Matt Palozola -who is also a marine- started a nonprofit to continue his brother’s legacy and mission of helping veterans have an easier life after exiting the service.

The Zola Initiative aims to be an early preventative measure to veteran’s suicide, by connecting veterans in their communities and building strong, local, accessible support system.

For more information on the Zola Initiative, click here.

Following the dedication ceremony, the Students Veterans Organization will host a BBQ lunch catered by Kenrick’s Meats at the Quad on the home campus.