P.O. BOX 2120

August 3, 2001

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Commonwealth of Virginia World War II Veteran Honorary High School Diploma

This memorandum provides information about the establishment of the Commonwealth of Virginia World War II Veteran Honorary High School Diploma to be issued by the Board of Education. The 2001 General Assembly adopted Senate Bill 1210, sponsored by then Senator, now Congressman, Randy Forbes, to establish the honorary diploma and designate the first week in September as Virginia World War II Veterans Appreciation Week. At its July meeting, the Board of Education adopted guidelines for the application process and the award of the diplomas. These guidelines, a copy of SB 1210, and a sample diploma are attached.

Senate Bill 1210 recognizes the educational, personal, and financial sacrifices made by World War II veterans who served in the United States armed forces. The General Assembly found that some of these veterans left school before completing the requirements for their high school diploma. Many of them were unable to complete their high school education, for various reasons upon returning home. Because the General Assembly found that these veterans have made "significant contributions" to this country "while gaining substantial knowledge and skills through work," Senate Bill 1210 provides for the issue of the honorary high school diploma by the Board of Education to qualified veterans according to guidelines developed by the board.

Any eligible World War II veteran may apply for the Commonwealth of Virginia World War II Veteran Honorary High School Diploma by filing with the board a written statement including the following:

  1. The veteranís full name;
  2. Branch of service;
  3. Dates of service;
  4. Location of last school attended; and
  5. Indication that the veteran was unable to resume his or her high school education upon returning to civilian life.
The information may be submitted by the veteran, by his or her family, or by any veteransí organization on behalf of the veteran. Honorary diplomas will be distributed to the veterans during Virginia World War II Veterans Appreciation Week, September 3-7 for this year, and on a case-by-case basis, as necessary.

We encourage school divisions to work with local veteransí organizations in recognizing and honoring World War II veterans for the contributions and sacrifices they made to protect this country and its people.

Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Cynthia Cave, director of policy ( at (804) 225-2092 if you need additional information. Applications for an honorary diploma should be made to the Board of Education, Attention: Margaret Roberts, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120.