Saint Martin's University designated the first Purple Heart University in Washington state

Saint Martin's University designated the first Purple Heart University in Washington state

LACEY, Wash. – The Military Order of the Purple Heart has designated Saint Martin’s University a Purple Heart University, making Saint Martin’s the first university or college in Washington state to receive the honor. The Purple Heart University designation is in recognition of Saint Martin’s history of supporting veterans and their families. The recognition letter from the Military Order of the Purple Heart stated that the designation honors the entire veteran community at the University, as well as the students, faculty and staff, Board of Trustees and administration.

“Saint Martin’s University and Abbey have a long history of serving the military both here on the main campus and at JBLM,” said Saint Martin’s University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D. “We are pleased and excited to receive this recognition. This designation is one more way for all of us to remember those that sacrificed so much for our country.”

“We are absolutely honored to have received this distinguished recognition,” said Cruz Arroyo, associate dean for administration for Saint Martin’s University – Joint Base Lewis-McChord Campuses. “It belongs to every student, faculty and staff member who has gallantly served our nation, as well as all military families who serve and sacrifice in their own brave manner. We look forward to continued years of service to these gallant men and women.”

The Purple Heart Medal, which was created by George Washington in 1782 as the Badge of Military Merit, is the oldest military award given to U.S. military members. The medal is given to U.S. military members who are wounded in combat or to their next of kin if they are killed in action or die from wounds received in action. The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all combat wounded veterans and active duty men and women who have received the decoration. Chartered by the Congress, the MOPH promotes patriotism, fraternalism and the preservation of America's military history. Most importantly, through veteran service officers, the organization provides comfort and assistance to all veterans and their families.

In February, Saint Martin’s University was designated a Military Friendly® school for 2019-2020 by VIQTORY and ranked ninth in the nation within the category of private, non-doctoral-granting institutions. The Military Friendly® Schools list is designed to provide a comprehensive guide for veterans and their families about the higher education institutions that give the best opportunities to veterans and their spouses.

For more information about the resources and programs that Saint Martin’s offers to support the military community, both at its Lacey and JBLM campuses, visit the military community page on the Saint Martin’s website.


Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 26 majors and ten graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.


For additional information:

Office of Graduate Admissions

The Office of Graduate Admissions can assist you as you consider taking that next step in your educational journey. Saint Martin's University offers master's programs in accounting, business, computer science, counseling, education, and several engineering fields as well as a doctorate program in leadership. We also offer post-baccalaureate certificate programs to advance your career. Our counselors will guide you through the application process, find the resources and information you need, and make sure you feel at home on campus.