HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from USM
The words "military-friendly" represent more than a catch-phrase or snazzy label to Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond (U.S. Army Ret.) and The University of Southern Mississippi. The designation serves as a guiding light for the University's new Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families.
Established a little more than a year ago, the Center's mission is to offer sustainable conditions for a "military-friendly" education support program that provides veterans, service members (active duty, Reserve Component and National Guard), dependents (family members) and survivors (VSDS) the opportunity to pursue a degree at The University of Southern Mississippi.
With assistance from The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation, the Center has launched an annual fundraising initiative designed to help expand awareness of the program's services. The fundraiser will be held each year to coincide with the national Veterans Day holiday (Nov. 11).
"Everyone who is an American is enjoying freedom today on the shoulders of servicemen and women who chose to put their lives on the line for that privilege," said Hammond, director of Military and Veterans Student Affairs. "Here in South Mississippi – and particularly at The University of Southern Mississippi – we have an environment that is more conducive and receptive to veterans than just about anywhere in the country. We truly believe it's possible to make Southern Miss the top military-friendly school in the nation."
Primary objectives of the fundraising initiative include:
Help fund scholarship opportunities for qualified student-veteransImplement an active outreach and recruiting program to increase enrollment of student-veterans, service members and familiesOffer workshops and other support services to help veterans and their families successfully graduate and enter the workforceIn the past year alone, the University has seen an increase of 86 student-veterans, for a current enrollment of 1,021.
In September of this year, Southern Miss was designated a Military Friendly School by 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.
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.
To learn more about the Veterans Center annual fundraiser, contact The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation at 601.266.5210. For more information about the Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families, call 601.264.4629 or visit: www.usm.edu/military-veterans