The University of Southern Mississippi has earned Gold status as a Military Friendly® School for 2018 by Victory Media, Inc., one of only 10 research institutions in the U.S. to receive that distinction. Gold Award winners have programs that scored within 20 percent of the 10th-ranked institution within a given category.
The Military Friendly® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions.
Military Friendly® is the standard that measures an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefit for the military community.
Over the past several years, USM’s Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families has been recognized annually for its commitment to providing affordable, accessible educational opportunities for veterans and their family members.
“We continue to collaborate with the University community both in Hattiesburg and on the Gulf Coast in meeting the needs of our military veterans, service members and their families,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond (U.S Army, ret.), who serves as the center’s director. “Continued recognition by numerous agencies as one the nation’s top military friendly universities confirms our commitment to making a difference in the lives of our military students.”
Hammond notes that since the center’s inception in October, 2014 progress continues on a variety of “fronts” as the program develops, expands and adjusts in meeting the interests and needs of military students.
“We remain steadfast in our pledge to be the University of Choice for veterans, service members and their families in search of an extraordinary higher education experience,” said Hammond.”
Among the noteworthy initiatives/distinctions:
- Three of the most highly respected publications (Military Times, Victory Media and Military Advanced Education & Transition) once again named USM as a top military friendly institution which clearly signifies the center’s advocacy for student-veterans.
- Two USM student-veterans, along with Veterans Center staff member Michael McGee, recently attended the National Student Veterans of America Conference in San Antonio, TX. This conference was designed to bring together SVA Chapters from across the U.S. in discussing and sharing ideas on how to better serve student-veterans. During the conference participants gained significant insight into student-veteran related opportunities with respect to new programs, resourcing, career preparation and more.
- The center’s “Textbooks for Troops” program continues to expand while seeking new avenues to involve the local community and campus environment (students, faculty and staff) in assisting student-veterans.
- The center recently launched an “Honor Corps” initiative to recognize military students who have achieved academic success at one of the University’s campus locations. Plans are to identify and formally recognize academic achieving military students at some point during the current semester.
- In collaboration with Ms. Betty Dettre, the center recently established the Maj. Gen. Rexford H. Dettre, Jr. “Duty – Honor – Country” Leadership Scholarship in honor of her late husband. Gen. Dettre served as a distinguished combat pilot in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The scholarship is established to provide “one-time” scholarship monies for a deserving USM military veteran or service member of the United States Armed Forces. The scholarship is one of many the USM Veteran Center sponsors in support of our Military Students.
For more information about the center, call 601.264.4629 or visit: www.usm.edu/military-veterans