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Dusty Sanders ’23

Alum Dusty Sanders pose at UNCW
During his military service, Dusty Sanders acquired real-world experience and core values that he feels helped in his academic journey.
Photo: Jeff Janowski/UNCW

After eight years of service in the U.S. Army and serving in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Dusty Sanders ’23 began his journey as a tenacious business student. His hard work paid off in December when he graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in management and Leadership.

During his military service, Sanders acquired real-world experience and core values that he feels helped in his academic journey. Sanders, a former AH-64 attack helicopter crew chief, connected with organizations with matching values such as the Student Veterans Organization, where he served as its vice president. He was also involved in the American Legion Post 129.

“Dusty is one of those students who has succeeded through patience, hard work and persistence,” said Bill Kawczynski, director of UNCW’s Office of Military Affairs. “A common trait about Dusty is always putting others before himself and finding ways to help his brothers and sisters who have or continue to serve this great country.”

While adapting to university life can be challenging, Sanders advised his fellow Seahawks to act virtuously.

“Three warrior ethos guidelines for ‘good order and discipline’ are think before you act, do the right thing, and keep learning and strive to be the best you can," he said.

Sanders was a recipient of several scholarships including Vietnam Veterans of America, Military Officers Association of America and the Association of the United States Army. He was also selected to sit on a panel about the documentary “The Veteran’s Battlefield: A Story of North Carolina’s Veterans.”

“Although he recently graduated, Dusty still finds time to stay connected to UNCW and many veteran service organizations in southeastern North Carolina,” Kawczynski said. “It’s been an honor to have Dusty spend the past two plus years in Veterans Hall and as a great representative of the veteran population. 
Sanders has his eyes set on his new goals of returning to aviation work or finding a career with a veteran organization. When asked how UNCW prepared him for his career, Sanders responded, “It has broadened my education to understand the roles in which will give me the opportunity to become a great leader and to train others.”