USM receives military friendly school designation

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi

A commitment to providing high quality educational and career opportunities to those who defend our freedoms has earned The University of Southern Mississippi a prestigious accolade.

Victory Media Inc., a veteran-owned ratings entity whose work includes identifying organizations, including schools, which engage in practices supportive of active duty military, veterans and their families, has designated Southern Miss a Military Friendly School.

The rating comes on the heels of the university launching an accelerated program for veterans with medical service training to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing at its Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. Southern Miss also recently opened a new Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families on the Hattiesburg campus.

"The University of Southern Mississippi's commitment to providing quality educational opportunities for veterans, active duty military members, and their families has been well documented," said University President Rodney D. Bennett. "This official designation publicly signals our openness and ability to work with men and women who have devoted their lives to protect and to serve, and I am excited that this recognition places us among select institutions who intentionally focus efforts on supporting this important group of students."

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond, director of veteran and military student services at Southern Miss., says the rating affirms the university's commitment to those who have served and are now serving the nation in uniform.

"We're proud to receive this designation and the recognition that we provide an atmosphere at Southern Miss that veterans, active duty personnel and their families find welcoming and supportive," Hammond said.

The criteria used by Victory Media for its Military Friendly School rating includes:

*Military support on campus (non-financial)
*Academic credibility
*Percent of military students

*Academic credit for military service
*Flexibility for military students
*Veteran graduation rates
*Government approvals
*Student tuition assistance
*Student survey and employment (job placement) rates, and military spouse policies

"The military veteran community is a significant constituency for this university and this area, and this designation is indicative of our close connection to this community and the high value with which we regard it," said Dr. Andrew Wiest, founding director of the university's Center for the Study of War and Society.

For information about the Southern Miss Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families, visit

About The University of Southern Mississippi
Founded in 1910, The University of Southern Mississippi is a comprehensive doctoral and research-driven university with a proud history and an eye on the future. A dual-campus university, Southern Miss serves students on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, in addition to five teaching and research sites in Mississippi and through Online at Southern Miss. Since 2006, Southern Miss students have collected seven Goldwater Scholarships, three Truman Scholarships and 10 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. Our Center for Undergraduate Research affords our students meaningful research opportunities, and as a proven leader in innovation, we conduct transformative research that translates into real-world solutions. As one of a select number of institutions in the nation accredited in art, dance, music and theatre, we are a haven for creativity and artistic expression. In the classroom or lab, on the playing field, or in the performance hall, we strive to have a positive impact not only on our students, but also the world around us. Further information is found at