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CMU education leads to success for three military grads


Every military student has their own story. They come to Central Michigan University for different reasons, but they all find the support they need from our faculty and staff to write their next chapter. 

Roxanne Bruhn comes from a family of military veterans. Her grandfather fought in WWI, uncles in WWII and her father served two tours of duty in Vietnam. Always interested in mechanics, Bruhn began her 31-year tour of duty in the Hawaii Air National Guard as the first woman aerospace ground equipment specialist. 

“I always relish the idea of being the first at something, trailblazing. I like to make my own path,” she said. “You are either all in, or you stay home.”

Bruhn realized she needed a degree when she applied for the highest-ranking job an Air Force enlisted person could hold. Despite being told she was the most qualitied applicant, she didn’t get the job because she didn’t have a degree. With her usual enthusiasm, she earned her associate degree, bachelor’s degree, and with the encouragement of CMU’s assistant director of enrollment at Hickam AFB, her master’s degree from Central Michigan University.

After taking her classes at CMU’s Hawaii centers and online, Bruhn and her family flew to Michigan for her graduation. “I worked hard for this, and so has my family, so I’m walking,” she said. “I wanted to come here with my husband and my son and relish the moment. To me it’s the symbol of completion. I can end this and start the next chapter.”

Army Specialist Shayn Lindquist experienced a very different journey. In 2017 Spc. Lindquist, a senior at CMU, was actively engaged in ROTC, Model United Nations, the university’s DII hockey club and training with his U.S. Army Reserve unit when he was diagnosed with brain cancer.

The diagnosis didn’t stop him from continuing his education, serving his country and helping others. He volunteered with Special Days Camps, working with children with cancer. He also organized a charitable ruck event, raising thousands of dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Special Days Camp.

“While undergoing chemotherapy he continued to attend classes and drill with his Reserve unit as an enlisted member. He is a remarkable young man who has a true warrior spirit,” said Lt. Col. Donald Pratt, who leads CMU’s ROTC program and teaches in the military science program.

Lindquist received the Military Times’ Soldier of the Year award at the 18th annual Service Members of the Year awards in Washington, D.C., June 10, 2019.

U.S. Marine Sgt. Matthew Morin was stationed in Bahrain when he discovered Central Michigan University. As he headed to the gym after a 24-hour post guarding an airfield, he saw a CMU banner and asked himself, “Why don’t I start going to school?”

It was the beginning of his three years at CMU. Taking his courses online, Morin earned his Bachelor of Science degree with a major in administration. Along the way to his degree, he became an ambassador for higher education, mentoring at least eight fellow Marines on their own educational journeys.

“Education teaches responsibility,” he explained. “I’m the first person in my family to earn a university degree. Just a simple banner out in the middle of nowhere made a difference.”

On Feb. 26, 2020, Morin was named an American Council on Education Student of the Year. ACE, a nonprofit U.S. association of about 1,700 higher education institutions, conducts research and public policy advocacy. Its ACE Credit program helps students receive academic credit for training outside of traditional degree programs. Morin transferred nearly half of his degree requirements to CMU via ACE Credit. 

CMU has a long history of serving the educational needs of U.S. military families and veterans. Our thousands of military graduates, including more than 155 generals and admirals, have all received a first-class education applicable to their military career and their transition to civilian life.


No matter where you complete your CMU program, on campus, at our military centers at installations across the nation or online, making sure you reach your goal is what CMU is all about. 


Learn more today!



Read the original CMU News stories about these outstanding CMU military graduates.

Roxanne Bruhn

Spc. Shayn Lindquist

Sgt. Matthew Morin