USM’s Veterans Program Ranked Third Nationally by Resource Publication

HATTIESBURG, Mississippi (WDAM) – The University of Southern Mississippi has achieved a # 3 national ranking for its support and service to its military students.

USM has been rated by the Military Time resource guide in its “Best for Vets: Colleges 2021 Rankings”.

The university was also ranked # 1 in the Southeast.

The new rankings show a leap for USM after being ranked No.9 nationally for the past two years.

USM is one of three Top 30 Mississippi universities, with the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University ranked 23rd and 26th, respectively.

In 2014, USM launched its Center for Military Veterans, Members and Families under the leadership of Major General Jeff Hammond (US Army, retired).

About 300 military students were enrolled at USM when the center was launched. Currently, that number exceeds 1,700 with services available at the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses.

Hammond says the latest ranking validates the efforts many have put into creating a comprehensive program for military students.

“We established our program about seven years ago with the goal of being the best,” said Hammond. “Hard work, genuine student care, teamwork, responsibility and a genuine commitment to success pay off. “

“It really means that we are blessed and very grateful to have had the opportunity to create a program on campus that places the needs of others above our own and in doing so allows us to make a difference in the lives of our students- veterans and their families. “

Below are the services provided by the USM Center:

  • Space to study and / or socialize
  • Advice on benefits and financial assistance for veterans
  • Processing of Veterans Affairs Benefits and Financial Assistance
  • Academic assistance, such as tutoring
  • Mentoring programs
  • Class registration
  • Career counseling
  • Legal aid
  • Army-related service projects
  • Help for physically disabled veterinarians
  • Mental health counseling

“The work General Hammond and his staff do every day to support our veteran population and to create a comprehensive program for military students places us among the best in the South and Mississippi. I am proud of and appreciate the hard work and dedication of 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 was enhanced by the construction of a new center on the Hattiesburg campus with the support of university administrators.

The USM Foundation inaugurated the Quinlan-Hammond Hall of Honor, named after Hammond, and USM principal benefactor and alumnus Joe Quinlan.

The Quinlan-Hammond Hall of Honor is the first building initiative funded 100% by the private sector through the USM Foundation.

Over 150 alumni and friends from across the country have donated over $ 3 million to date, successfully reaching the fundraising goal.

Construction has started on the state-of-the-art 5,500-square-foot facility that will include a conference room, study space for small groups or individual work, a lounge, as well as other meeting spaces and offices for the staff.

The new room is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Hammond suggests that USM should be the choice of student-veterans when looking for the best education and accommodation opportunities.

“USM is a community among communities when it comes to supporting our military,” said Hammond. “Plus, and ultimately, we are the most comprehensive and comprehensive military student support program in Mississippi and the South.

“At USM, our administrators, faculty and staff work together to find solutions for our military students rather than creating obstacles to their success.”

To view the full rankings, click here, and to learn more about the USM Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families, call (601) 264-4629 or click here.

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