University of Evansville Awarded $10,000 Grant for New Veterans Lounge

Posted: Thursday, August 13, 2015

The University of Evansville student veteran organization, UE VETS,  has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Student Veterans of America (SVA) to fund a new veterans lounge on campus.

The private lounge will give student veterans a place to study, learn, and interact with each other. The lounge will be housed in the Bower-Surheinrich Library, and will provide resources and a relaxing atmosphere complete with kitchenette, computers, printer, and more.

Since the formation of UE VETS in 2009, UE and the Office of Veterans Affairs have been focused on providing support and outreach to veterans, current service members, and their families as they transition from the military to college and beyond to the workforce. The University has worked hard to build relationships and create understanding and sensitivity among the UE campus and the Tri-State community about student veteran issues.

“As UE welcomes more student veterans, we continue to assess their needs. Because the majority of UE VETS live off campus, they need a designated place to keep their books and personal belongings to study between classes,” says UE president, Thomas A. Kazee. “A veteran’s lounge within our library offers a central location and a place to call their own.”

“Student veterans are not right out of high school. They have jobs, live off campus, and many times have a family to support,” says UE VETS president, John Giroux. “UE doesn’t currently have a space dedicated to easing burdens sometimes felt by student veterans, but this lounge will help bridge that gap.”

In addition to providing a place for down time between classes, this space will also offer a common meeting place for the UE VETS organization.

“With this grant, we now have the means and location to conduct UE VETS business and ensure our campus veterans have what they need to succeed,” says UE VETS vice president, Erik Goodge.  

Additionally, UE alumna and member of the Board of Trustees, Major General Verna Fairchild, has made a generous donation to supplement the grant funds in order to complete the project. General Fairchild is a retired U.S. Air Force veteran and avid supporter of student veterans at UE.

Since 2008, Student Veterans of America (SVA) has helped those returning from military service obtain the resources, support, and advocacy needed to achieve success in higher education and after graduation. 

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