The new name was officially unveiled at the City of Irvine's annual Memorial Day ceremony to recognize fallen military service members
IRVINE, Calif. (May 29, 2017) – Concordia University Irvine (CUI) today announced that it has renamed its Veterans Resource Center to the U.S. Staff Sgt. Matthew Thompson Veterans Resource Center in honor of fallen CUI alum Staff Sgt. Matthew Thompson, 28, who was killed last year in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The center's new name was unveiled at the May 29th City of Irvine's annual Memorial Day ceremony to recognize fallen military service members at Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park. During the ceremony, Concordia University Irvine President Kurt Krueger presented a plaque with the center's new name together with Thompson's widow, Rachel Thompson. The plaque will hang at the newly named U.S. Staff Sgt. Matthew Thompson Veterans Resource Center at the University.
Thompson graduated from CUI with his Bachelor of Arts in Theological Studies in December 2010. He died on August 23, 2016 of injuries caused by an improvised explosive device that detonated near his patrol while conducting dismounted operations. Thompson was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
Thompson's awards and decorations include the following: Bronze Star Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Medal; Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 2); Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Basic Parachutist Badge; and Special Forces Tab. Thompson was posthumously awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star Medal with V device, and Purple Heart Medal.
About the U.S. Staff Sgt. Matthew Thompson Veterans Resource Center
The U.S. Staff Sgt. Matthew Thompson Veterans Resource Center supports over 80 service members, veterans, and their family members annually to pursue their academic and professional goals. Designated as a Yellow Ribbon Scholarship university, Concordia is one of only 1,600 private and public universities across the United States to be named as a Military Friendly® School. The mission of the Center is to assist VA beneficiaries to transition from the military to the classroom through a supporting campus community.
About Concordia University Irvine
Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a non-profit Lutheran Christian four-year liberal arts university that prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. Concordia offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in education, nursing, theology, business, and coaching/athletics administration. CUI’s undergraduate program is distinctive because of its nationally recognized core curriculum, Enduring Questions & Ideas, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of "Grace Alone. Faith Alone." Concordia is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest growing private nonprofit master's institutions. The university is part of the Concordia University System, the second largest education ministry system in the United States just behind the Catholic Church. The private university enrolls over 4,000 students annually and is in its final year of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Membership process.