New Veterans Resource Center Nears Completion

The campus’s new Veterans Resource Center is now open.

Located on the ground floor of Hodges Library, across from One Stop, the center features quiet study areas, a common room with microwave and refrigerator access, and a meeting area for veteran organizations. It also provides a venue for student veterans to meet one-on-one with veteran coordinators.

“The most important aspect of the center is that it sends a message that we support our student veterans,” said Veteran Student Services Coordinator Jayetta Rogers. “Transition to civilian life can be stressful, but having a ‘home base’ can help ease that transition.”

This center was made possible by generous donations from a variety of organizations, as well as fundraising efforts by the VA office, the UT Foundation office, and the student veteran group Volfighters.

The Journey Home Project, an organization with the mission of connecting donors to veterans’ organizations that “do the most good,” donated $10,000 to be used on new computer equipment.

The Home Depot donated $4,700 to purchase items for the center. The VRC now has a new Smart TV, DVD player, furniture, microwave, refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker, supply of K pods, and a popcorn popper, all purchased from the money donated from the Home Depot.

Last spring, there were 475 veterans and more than 375 military spouses and dependents enrolled as students at UT. That number is expected to increase this fall, partly due to SB1232, a new Tennessee law that grants in-state tuition to anyone currently living in Tennessee who is using VA educational benefits, regardless of their official home of record.

The university ranks 31st among all public universities in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 list of Best Colleges for Veterans.

UT was designated a Purple Heart university in 2014 and was the first school in Tennessee to receive this designation.

“We want to provide our student veterans with the proper resources and support that they need to be successful to graduate and transition to the civilian workforce,” Rogers said.

A grand opening ceremony will be held after classes begin.