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NSU, Coast Guard Extend Partnership

Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, NSU President, and Vice Admiral Kevin Lunday, USCG, sign a memorandum of understanding March 23, 2023.Norfolk State University renewed its partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday, March 23. The Memorandum of Understanding between the two entities continues the opportunity for students to receive tuition support and supports the Coast Guard’s civilian and military recruiting efforts through the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative.

“Our students want to serve, and the Coast Guard is a great place for them to serve,” said NSU President Javaune Adams-Gaston, Ph.D. “I am impressed with what happens with our students when they engage with the Coast Guard and their experiences really resonate with them.”

Adams-Gaston noted that the University was recently designated as a 2023-2024 Top 10 Military Friendly School, ranking No. 1 in the Small Public category.  

Under the Pre-Commissioning Initiative, accepted full-time students receive up to two years of college tuition, fees, books and essential supplies. While enrolled in school, a CSPI selectee is enlisted in the Coast Guard and receives active duty pay, allowances, entitlements and benefits such as medical, dental and housing. After graduation, CSPI participants attend Officer Candidate School and become commissioned officers in the Coast Guard. CSPI is offered at participating federally designated Minority Serving Institutions, such as Norfolk State University.

“The Coast Guard is an important value to the United States,” said Vice Admiral Kevin Lunday, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area. “We’re a service that provides an opportunity for the citizen leaders that you’re developing here at Norfolk State who choose to serve their nation in the Coast Guard.”

Lt Commander Carey Lewis, an NSU alumnus, participated in the CSPI program, joining in his sophomore year at the urging of his cousin. A computer science major, he is a cybersecurity security officer stationed at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C. Lewis is also a social aide at the White House, supporting President Joe Biden during social events ranging from formal state visits to the annual Easter Egg roll held on the White House grounds.

In summing up his experiences at Norfolk State and in the Coast Guard, Lewis said, “Norfolk State is family. Everybody wants you to succeed and it’s the same in the military. The Coast Guard is a small service. Everybody is close-knit and wants you to do your best and wants you to be a good leader.”

Please see our Fickr album of photos from the event at