Eastern Kentucky University has long been known as an institution that supports veterans, and it has now unveiled a space that strengthens that support.
EKU’s newly renovated Powell Building now boasts a 3,000 square foot facility dedicated to veterans attending the University. The EKU Veterans Education and Transition Support (VETS) Center was unveiled Tuesday morning, with Rep. Andy Barr and President Dr. David McFaddin speaking as the event was live streamed (Watch the video). The space occupies the former Jaggers Room in the Powell Building, named for Dr. Richard E. Jaggers, professor emeritus who retired in 1962. Several of Dr. Jaggers’ family members were in attendance.
President McFaddin said it is a space that represents what veterans mean to EKU.
“We know the kinds of students our veterans are. They show up. They’re dependable. They’re dedicated to themselves and they’re dedicated to others, and that’s what being a Colonel means at EKU,” McFaddin said. “We need to think about this (space) in a way that recognizes the service of these men and women.”
The center boasts a 1,500 square feet open area designed for EKU veteran and military students to socialize, study, hold events and includes lounge furniture and group work stations, a customer service desk staffed by VA student employees, charging stations, a retractable large-screen projector, computer stations and printers and a hospitality station with café-style seating.
“This is a great day for student veterans here at EKU,” said Congressman Andy Barr. “EKU has a longstanding commitment to making veterans feel at home in their campus, and the establishment of the VETS Center will only further this goal. The VETS Center is a tremendous space that will serve generations of military and veteran students to come at EKU. I look forward to visiting again in the future.”
In total, more than 3,000 square feet of space is now dedicated to EKU veteran and military students. It is the largest space on a college campus in Kentucky dedicated to veterans.
“The establishment of the new EKU vet center has one guiding purpose, to develop and provide services, programming and opportunities, to engage, transition, retain and graduate our students so they may then go out and serve other veterans in their communities,” said Barbara Kent, Director of the EKU Office for Military and Veteran Affairs. “I am so proud to serve on the EKU team whose leadership truly values and embraces a strengths-based approach to serving our military and student population.”
EKU consistently ranks in the top 10 percent of “Best for Vets” public institutions nationally and is number one in Kentucky. It is the only “Military Friendly” school in Kentucky to have Gold status.
EKU would like to thank the many donors for more than $30,000 in gifts and funding that helped furnish the VETS Center with lounge furniture, workspace furniture, technology and a hospitality station.
Mr. Keith Daniel of KDA Furniture.
Mr. Randy Bowling, representing Richmond Walmart.
Mr. David Gannon, representing US Bank Home Mortgage
Ms. Jessica Strunk, representing US Bank
Mr. Mark York, representing Bechtel International
Mr. Gabe Hoffman, representing Pieratt's
Ms. Jaime Stansell, representing Sherwin-Williams
K.R. Schompf of Longship
Each of these organizations were presented with an award of appreciation.