Embracing Veterans - Past, Present and Future.
The G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Center for America's Veterans located on the campus of Mississippi State University is a National Leader in providing comprehensive support through a University based Veteran Resource Center.
Past...Mississippi State and Veterans: A Legacy of Support.
The Center for America's Veterans honors the legacy of the 1943 Mississippi State alumnus and 15-term U.S. congressman who authored the Montgomery G.I. Bill. "Sonny" Montgomery's leadership, statesmanship and public service enhanced the lives of generations of Americans, particularly veterans of military service. Influenced by Congressmen Montgomery's legacy of support for those who serve or have served AND by the University's longstanding tradition in supporting our military, the Center for America's Veterans strives to provide nothing less than comprehensive, professional services to all of our student veterans, servicemembers, dependents and survivors (VSDS). The center was established in 2006 by MSU Past President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong who saw a need to provide more focused and comprehensive support to our student VSDS population.
Present...an Emerging Center of Excellence.
Since 2006, the Center has become a national leader in providing a campus based veteran resource center in support of student veterans, servicemembers, dependents and survivors-often referred to as the student VSDS population. Recognized by several different organizations, publications and Federal/State agencies as being within the top 10% of "military-veteran friendly" universities, the Center for America's Veterans has played a direct role in helping Mississippi State University achieve this level of national recognition. Working with many different departments on campus and with military and veteran organizations within the community and at the State and Federal level, the center has developed several programs designed to support and assist our student VSDS population. These programs include the Comprehensive Benefit Counseling Program, an Outreach/Recruiting effort, a Transtion Program, and an Educational/Research thrust. The center has also worked with the MSU Student Veteran Association (SVA), since its inception in 2007, to continue to assit in the development and management of the fledgling yet exponentially growing organization. Collaborating with the SVA, the center has been able to accomplish several initiatives including "Priority Registration". The center has also partnered with several different organizations and individuals to provide scholarship support to our student VSDS. Proud to be associated with the Pat Tillman Foundation, the center has worked with the PTF for the last two years to provide Tillman Military Scholarships to a segment of our VSDS population.
Other Programs that the center has established OR provided support to include:
- Veteran Transition Program
- Veteran Focus Group (Partnering with the Student Counseling Center)
- Veteran Administration Professional Certificate Program (still in development)
- Center for America's Veterans Scholarship Program
- Community Veteran Recognition Program (WWII/Korean War/Vietnam War/OIF/OEF Recognition Luncheon)
- Veteran Discovery Day and the Patriotic Halftime Football Show (conducted during the MSU Home Football Game falling closest to Veterans Day)
- The MSU President sponsored Veterans Day Ceremony
- The MSU Veterans Day Awareness Week
- The College of Engineering NSF sponsored STEM Veteran Initiative
- The College of Engineering Wounded Warrior Cyber Security Class
- The Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology Veteran Emerging Issues Class
Future...Exceeding the Standard.
While the center is a nationally recognized program with many notable accomplishments, it has much work to do to meet its vision of setting the standard for all university based Veteran Resource Centers to maintain.
Initiatives include the following:
- Veteran exclusive incentive packages (tuition discounts, room-and-board allowances, dislocation allowances and spouse job assistance)
- Veteran Benefit Administration Degree Concentration Program
- Veteran Based Research Trust
- MSU Military and Veteran Alumni Group
- National Outreach Program
- Veteran Resource Center Best Practices Clearinghouse