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New Center for Student Veterans at The University of Texas at Austin

Event: The University of Texas at Austin will open a new Student Veteran Center to serve the needs of the 640 veterans who are students on campus.

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Event: The University of Texas at Austin will open a new Student Veteran Center to serve the needs of the 640 veterans who are students on campus.

When: Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m. Ceremony to be followed by a reception and open house.

University officials and student veterans are available all this week to discuss the center in advance with  journalists who want to air or run this story on Veterans Day morning.

Where: Student Veteran Center, fourth floor, Student Services Building, 100 E. Dean Keeton St.

Background: College students who are United States military veterans often have unique needs on campus. Many are older than the average student and have families or are just beginning to transition from active duty to academic careers at the university.

The new Student Veteran Center at The University of Texas at Austin is designed to be a port of entry for student veterans seeking the academic, social, physical and financial support they need to complete college and reach their fullest potential. It will serve as a clearinghouse for information and as a place where student veterans can study, spend time with fellow veterans and find community.

Operated by Student Veteran Services in the Office of the Dean of Students, the center will be staffed by a full-time student veteran coordinator. A licensed clinical psychologist, funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will also provide mental health outreach through the center. Representatives of the Texas Veterans Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission will also be available to assist student veterans.

Plans for the Student Veteran Center were initiated in 2008 when university officials established a Veteran Student Committee to identify, develop and implement programs and services to improve adjustment and academic success among student veterans.

The center is a key part of that strategy. In addition, a Veteran Services website, also provides information about on- and off-campus programs and services available to student veterans.

Student Veteran Services was also recently awarded a Jean Perkins Foundation Scholarship grant for undergraduate students who are combat veterans. The grant will provide $250,000 per year for three years, for a total of $750,000.

In addition to connecting students to the on-campus community of veterans, including the Student Veterans Association and the Texas Law Veterans Association, Student Veteran Services hopes to pair incoming student veterans with sponsors through its Veteran-to-Veteran Sponsorship Program. Another initiative is the American Corporate Partners Program, a nationwide mentoring program that offers free career counseling and networking, and matches recently returned veterans with professionals at some of America’s top corporate and academic institutions.