TTU receives veteran outreach and support award

Tennessee Tech is the first Tennessee university to be formally awarded Veterans Education Transition Support Campus certification, an honor that reinforces the university’s commitment to veterans.

Representatives from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission presented the certificate to TTU president Phil Oldham in a ceremony last week.

“This is a commitment that we make as an institution,” said Oldham. “We have a long history of being military friendly. A long list of Tech graduates have gone to serve in all ranks, theaters and areas of service. Hopefully we’re seeing just the start of many more things to come.”

To qualify for the designation, institutions must meet a number of requirements that show a university prioritizes outreach to veterans and delivers a supportive atmosphere.

The university recently created an Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, which helps veterans and military dependents navigate veterans benefits and the GI bill. Staff also provide support with transitioning to and succeeding in the academic environment.

Kevin Flanary, director of the office, said he plans to establish a veterans center on campus, where veterans can study, relax and learn more about academic benefits.

“The least we can do is to endeavor to provide education for veterans when they return and help ease their transition back into society,” said Russ Deaton, interim executive director for THEC. “We are honored to play a role in this, by being the authorizing entity for the state of Tennessee.”

Tennessee Rep. Ryan Williams sponsored legislation that established the VETS program and attended the campus event.

TTU is the third Tennessee Board of Regents university to receive this designation, and the seventh institution in the state.

Pictured (L-R): state Rep. Ryan Williams; Scott Sloan, general council of THEC; Tom Morrison, assistant executive director of THEC; Russ Deaton, interim executive director of THEC; TTU president Phil Oldham; Bobby Hodum, associate vice president of enrollment management and student success at TTU; Kevin Flanary, director of military and veterans affairs at TTU; Stephen Peterson, TTU professor of military science.