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, service members, dependents and survivors. The center was established in 2006 by MSU President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong who saw a need to provide more focused and comprehensive support to our student veteran population and other military connected students.
Currently over 2,500 student veterans, service members, and dependents rely on the Center for America’s Veterans for the processing of their educational benefits. This service is offered through a staff that consists of 5 professional employees, an office associate and a graduate assistant. Additional staffing consists of 12 student workers funded by the Veterans Administration (VA). In addition to educational services, the Center for America’s Veterans houses a Veteran Service Officer (VSO). The VSO serves student veterans as well as veterans from across the State of Mississippi. The VSO supports veterans through comprehensive employment assistance and health care related concerns.
In August 2016, the CAV moved into its new facility at 250 Bailey Howell Drive. Nusz Hall is a 7500 square foot facility which contains administrative offices, computer lab, individual study rooms, student lounge, kitchen and a multi-purpose room equipped to host a variety of training or special events.
The CAV is a comprehensive center designed to ensure veteran and dependents eligible for VA educational benefits are counseled and their claim certified for payment. Additional services include the Department of Defense (DoD) Tuition Assistance program and the State of Mississippi National Guard Educational Assistance Program (SEAP). For our military-connected students’ not receiving VA educational assistance, we provide services such as a non-resident tuition waiver, various scholarship opportunities, and assistance with priority registration.
As a recognized leader of veteran services in higher education, we are seeing increased requested to export our Green Zone Training to other higher education institutions. We are experiencing an increase in the number or requests to review other military and veteran programs at universities across the country and present best practices at various conferences and symposiums. Membership in professional organizations while serving in leadership roles with those organizations have all led to the well-respected reputation of the Center for America’s Veterans and Mississippi State University throughout the field of student veteran services.