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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State University recently announced several new initiatives that will help the university in its efforts to become the most veteran-friendly public university in the nation.

According to a press release, the initiatives are designed to provide support and services to assist veterans in their transition to college and successful pursuit of a degree.

“With nearly 25 percent of recently-separated-from-the-military veterans enrolling in college within two years, the need for support and assistance in the transition from military service to college student is obvious,” President Eric J. Barron said.

The new initiatives include:

-Establishing a Florida State Veterans Center, which will reach veterans of all generations. The center will serve as the focal point for all campus veteran resources, academic advising, orientation and transition programming, personal and rehabilitative support services, and assistance with VA educational benefits and certification.

-Hiring a director of the Florida State Veterans Center, who will implement the center’s mission to recruit veterans who want to transition from military service to college life; support veterans by coordinating services; and promote awareness of Florida State’s veteran heritage and current issues facing student-veterans. In addition, the director will promote Florida State’s veteran-friendly initiatives nationally.

-Launching an annual Student Veteran Film Festival to raise awareness of veterans’ issues and support the establishment of a veterans center. This year’s screening of “Hell and Back Again,” which will benefit the proposed veterans center, will set the stage for what will become a multifilm event in future years.

“These initiatives are important because nationally veterans are graduating at a lesser rate than nonveterans,” said Jared Lyon, president of the Florida State chapter of the Collegiate Veterans Association (CVA) and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he served on multiple deployments around the globe from 2001 to 2005. “As an institution for higher learning, it is our responsibility to ensure that student-veterans have the resources available to them to be successful in their goal of achieving a college degree.”

According to the university, the average age of a student-veteran at FSU is 27, have been out of the academic environment for a greater period of time and often struggle with transition and isolation. In addition, some may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or physical limitations.

Florida State is unique among universities because of the depth and scope of services it intends to offer, Lyon said.

Plans are under way to build a 35,000-square-foot building located on Jefferson Street near the Varsity Way roundabout. The proposal calls for bringing the Florida State Veterans Center, ROTC offices and a World War II museum together into one facility that would promote collaboration. In the meantime, the Pearl Tyner House at the Florida State Alumni Association complex on West Tennessee Street will serve as the center’s temporary home. It will open its doors today and will be available to students from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information about Florida State University, visit http://www.fsu.edu/


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