By Dan Silvia
Col. William “Buzz” Barrett (ret., United States Air Force) came to Bellevue University on the recommendation of a fellow service member. Now, with two Bellevue University degrees under his belt, he does not hesitate to steer folks toward his alma mater.
Barrett actually already had two master’s degrees to his name before taking his first classes at Bellevue University, but with the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit, he could not turn down the opportunity to learn more. He completed the Master of Science in Organizational Performance (MSOP) in March of 2018. Then, as a small business owner who wanted to learn more about a variety of business topics, and with GI Bill education benefits still available, he enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Business program.
Currently, Barrett is a government civilian working for the Air Force in United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). He’s also a resource to others who are considering continuing their education at Bellevue University.
“It’s actually a pretty easy conversation. I tell prospective students about the ease of registering, just one time, when using the Bellevue University cohort design, which can yield a bachelor’s or master’s degree in 18 months without needing to register every few weeks,” he said.
Barrett points out the flexibility that Bellevue University offers without sacrificing quality, and its experience in dealing with the needs of military members. “Once registered, it is truly simple to begin the process to obtain a degree,” he said.
He is originally from Equality, Illinois, a town of 550 people. Being from a small town he could see the value education played in creating opportunities for the future. He graduated from junior college, and then attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. He then served in the United States Air Force for 20 years, before retiring from active duty as a full colonel in 2005. During his time in the military, he flew the B-2 stealth bomber, the B-1B, and the B-52. Today, though, his missions are more likely to involve being of service to his co-workers who have GI Bill education benefits at their disposal.
“I wanted to serve my country and become a pilot. Both of my grandpas, my father, and my brother all served in the military as well,” he said. “I truly enjoy sharing my Bellevue experience with my fellow veterans, as well as active military personnel, and anyone else. I want people to be able to take advantage of everything Bellevue University has to offer.”