New MU Veterans Support Center Becomes 'One-Stop-Shop' for America's Heroes
MU celebrates Veterans Day with new resource center
Nov. 10, 2008
Story Contact: Jeffrey Beeson, (573) 882-9144, BeesonJ@missouri.edu
COLUMBIA, Mo. – According to the Department of Defense, there are approximately 140,000 troops in Iraq and 32,000 troops in Afghanistan, many of whom were college students before being called to duty. In an effort to support America’s service men and women, including members of the National Guard, University of Missouri officials have announced the opening of the MU Veterans Center. Located on Missouri’s flagship campus, the center’s staff will help veterans navigate the college environment as they return to campus.
“This is an exciting time for our veterans at MU. Making the transition from the military to academia can be a stressful and anxious time for incoming veterans,” said Carol Fleisher, interim director of the MU Veterans Center. “The new Veterans Center will make this experience a seamless and positive effort for them.”
With troop rotations and surges during military operations constantly changing, service men and women often are deactivated, enter college or a career, and then are called back to active duty, frequently in the middle of the semester. Students, faculty and staff have a short timeline to settle personal affairs before reporting to their units, which can make withdrawing from classes and jobs difficult. MU’s new center will provide support staff to help veterans manage campus resources, such as registration, financial aid and admissions. Recently, MU was recognized by the Department of Defense as a five-star employer for support of its employees in the Guard and Reserve.
“We realize that the needs of veterans may be different than those of typical incoming freshmen or new employees,” said Ann Korschgen, vice provost for enrollment management. “We want to make sure we are doing our part to make the transition from military to college and college to military as easy as possible.”
In August 2007, MU Chancellor Brady Deaton established the “Task Force for a Veteran-Friendly Campus” to examine issues that affect veterans and other military personnel departing and returning to campus as students or employees. Based on the task force’s recommendation, MU officials have opened one of the first centers of its kind to provide support, share information and be an advocate for members of the armed forces.
“On this Veterans Day, we pause to honor our citizens in uniform at home and abroad,” Deaton said. “We are excited to announce a new initiative to enable their successful transition back to our campus. This center is for faculty and staff, as well as our student veterans who choose to come here to pursue higher education degrees at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level.”
The center’s staff will work with health departments on campus, including the Student Health Center and Counseling Center, on how best to support students, faculty and staff as they transition into and out of military service. The MU Veterans Center also will work to recruit veterans to campus.
“We must ensure the service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and the heroes from our previous conflicts receive the benefits and care they have earned and deserve,” U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, R-Mo., said. “I commend the University of Missouri for their commitment to our veterans by establishing this resource center. They are not only creating a campus that is supportive and friendly to veterans, but they also are setting a good standard for universities and colleges throughout the Show-Me State.”
Mizzou Veterans Week Events
Monday, Nov. 10
Mizzou Student Veterans Association Banquet
7 p.m., Eckles Hall
Tuesday, Nov. 11
Mizzou Air Force ROTC Annual Veterans Day Vigil Parade and Ceremony
7 a.m. – 11:11 a.m., Boone County Courthouse
10:40 a.m., Mizzou Columns to Boone County Courthouse
11 a.m., Boone County Courthouse
Tigers 4 Troops
All Day, Memorial Student Union
Free Crafternoon: Thank You Cards for Veterans
12 – 4 p.m., N12 Memorial Student Union
Veterans Day Celebration
12 p.m., Memorial Student Union
Movie: Black Hawk Down
7 p.m., Wrench Auditorium
Wednesday, Nov. 12
Sgt. Matt Eversmann, Hero of Black Hawk Down and the Battle of Mogadishu
3:30 – 4:30 p.m., University Bookstore
7 p.m., Conservation Auditorium