The Military Times ranks USM’s veterans program third in the nation
A drive to provide the best support and services to military students has propelled the University of Southern Mississippi to 3rd nationally by military times.
USM is also ranked #1 in the Southeast by military times in its “Best for Vets: Colleges 2021 Rankings”. The most recent post represents a significant leap for USM, which was ranked 9th nationally for the past two years. USM is one of three universities in Mississippi listed in the Top 30, with the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University ranked 23rd and 26and respectively.
The University’s Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families was launched in 2014 under the leadership of Major General Jeff Hammond (US Army, retired). At that time, approximately 300 military students were enrolled at USM. Today, that number exceeds 1,700 with services available at the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses. Hammond says the latest ranking validates the tireless efforts many have made to develop a comprehensive curriculum for military students.
“We established our program about seven years ago with the goal of being the best,” Hammond said. “Hard work, genuine student care, teamwork, accountability and a sincere commitment to success pays off. It truly means that we are blessed and very grateful to have had the opportunity to create a campus program that puts the needs of others above our own and thus enables us to make a difference in the lives of our student-alumni. combatants and their families. .”
Among its many services, the USM center offers:
- Space to study and/or socialize
- Advice on benefits and financial assistance from Veterans Affairs
- Processing Veterans Affairs benefits and financial assistance
- School help, such as tutoring
- Mentorship programs
- Course registration
- career advice
- legal aid
- Army-related service projects
- Help for physically handicapped veterinarians,
- mental health counseling
“The work General Hammond and his team do every day to support our veteran population and create a comprehensive program for military students has placed us among the best in the South and Mississippi. I am proud and grateful for the hard work and dedication shown by our staff in supporting our students,” said Dr. Dee Dee Anderson, Vice President of Student Affairs at USM.
Hammond’s vision for the veterans program, supported by university administrators, was enhanced by the construction of a new center on the Hattiesburg campus. Last November, the USM Foundation opened the Quinlan-Hammond Hall of Honor, named after Principal Benefactor and USM alumnus Joe Quinlan and Hammond, the center’s founding director.
The Quinlan-Hammond Hall of Honor represents the first 100% privately funded building initiative through the USM Foundation. So far, more than 150 alumni and friends from across the country have donated more than $3 million, successfully reaching the fundraising goal.
Construction is well underway on the state-of-the-art 5,500 square foot facility which will include a conference room, study space for small groups or individual work, lounge and other meeting space and office space for the staff. The new center is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
When researching the best education and accommodation options, Hammond says the choice should be obvious to student-veterans.
“USM is a community among communities when it comes to supporting our military,” he said. “Additionally, and ultimately, we are the most comprehensive and comprehensive military student support program in Mississippi and the South. The Golden Eagle family makes it very clear that veterans and their families are extremely important people and as such are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. At USM, our administrators, faculty, and staff work together to find solutions for our military students rather than creating barriers to their success. »
To see the full ranking, go to: https://colleges.militarytimes.com/. To learn more about the USM Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families, call 601-264-4629 or visit: www.usm.edu/military-veterans.