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College opens new veterans lounge

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Apr 26, 2019

The College of Lake County has opened a veterans lounge at the Grayslake Campus, offering military veterans—along with their family, friends and supporters—a space to socialize, study and learn about helpful community resources.

Currently located in Room C181, the lounge is equipped with chairs, a conference table, whiteboard and a large flat-screen monitor. “This setup is a work in progress,” said Joe Bochantin, CLC veterans student services coordinator. “In the coming months, Photo of miltary veteran studying in new veterans loungewe will be seeking input from our student veterans to determine what kinds of furniture, art and other features they would like to have in their lounge. My hope is that it will be a place where veterans, service members and their families will come together to relax, support each other and live out the motto, ‘Veterans Helping Veterans.’ The lounge also will be a place where veterans can access information about the college and community resources designed to help them adjust to the academic environment.”

The lounge, located in a room with picture windows overlooking a grass courtyard, probably will move to a larger location on the Grayslake Campus in the fall, Bochantin added.

Photo: Stephen Joseph, a U.S. Navy veteran and CLC graduate, studies in the new veterans lounge

Regardless of size, the new facility is a welcome addition for veterans, including Stephen Joseph, who has served in the U.S. Navy and has earned CLC degrees in both digital media and design and hospitality and culinary management. “Veterans have a special camaraderie, and a lounge will help it grow at CLC,” he said.

After working several years as a chef, Joseph now is pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work from Northeastern Illinois University. His new career goal is to counsel veterans with emotional issues ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to suicidal thoughts. “Each day, 20 veterans commit suicide,” he added, noting recent studies by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “With degrees in social work, I’ll have more to offer fellow veterans, and I can do my part to reduce or eliminate that suicide rate.”

The new lounge is the latest in good news for veterans at CLC. In January, the college was named, for the ninth time in 10 years, a Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, a Pittsburgh-based publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine. Last November, the college unveiled

at the Grayslake Campus new artwork in a plaza named “CLC Salute to Veterans.” It consists of a 14-foot sculpture depicting a dove and stars to celebrate peacemaking efforts. The second piece portrays a crouching soldier gazing at embedded plaques identifying the five branches of the U.S. military.

 For more information on veterans services at CLC, visit and click the Veteran Student Services link.


About College of Lake County:

College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes, provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.