UGA named top reinstitution in the nation for service to student veterans

Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2016

From Staff Reports

The Post-Searchlight

The University of Georgia has been named the top tier one research institution in the nation in Victory Media’s Military Friendly Schools 2017 rankings. The designation recognizes the university for its outstanding commitment to and programs for student veterans and their families.

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Nearly 1,200 colleges and universities nationwide have achieved the Military Friendly designation, which results from a comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student success rates.

“We are delighted by these national recognitions highlighting our support for student veterans,” said Victor K. Wilson, vice president for student affairs. “For all that these remarkable students have given of themselves to our nation, it is our honor to provide outstanding, tailored resources to aid in their academic, personal and professional success.”

UGA’s comprehensive service to student veterans is the result of collaborations across multiple divisions and departments, including Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, the Office of the Dean of Students, UGA Athletics and the Student Veterans Resource Center.

Founded in spring 2013, the SVRC serves as the go-to location for wayfinding and entry into an array of services provided by the university, while offering wide-ranging support to and advocacy for student veterans.

Kyle McReynolds, president of UGA’s Student Veterans Association, says the partnerships among campus divisions and departments, as well as community support, have positioned the university to achieve the premier designation.

“We can only attribute this accomplishment to the dedicated support from our campus and community partners,” he said. “I am proud of the way the university is serving our veterans in their return to college.”

McReynolds is a U.S. Air Force veteran from Warner Robins studying business management. He also served as student office manager for the SVRC.

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten noted that the ranking highlights the broad range of support and services that UGA offers for student veterans.

“Being named the nation’s top research university for student veterans is an honor that we are especially proud of,” Whitten said. “The University of Georgia has a special obligation to the men and women who have served our nation with valor, and we are committed to providing them an unrivaled level of support and very best learning experience possible.”

Ted Barco, SVRC director, said the designation is a testament to the quality of UGA’s academic programs in addition to its service to student veterans.

“This recognition affirms UGA’s strong academic tradition, while also highlighting the university’s commitment to our student veterans; a commitment that is increasingly reflected in our policies, facilities, programs, partnerships and outcomes,” he said.

Bill McDonald, dean of students, said the military friendly designation acknowledges the quality of the current veterans pursuing their degrees here.

“Our student veterans perform on par with the larger student population in terms of overall cumulative grade point average and degree completion rate,” he said. “With this recognition, we hope that other student veterans who are seeking a challenging academic environment, extracurricular programs associated with a flagship university and nationally recognized student veteran services, will be attracted to UGA.”

For the full Military Friendly Schools rankings, see

UGA was also recently named one of Military Advanced Education magazine’s “Top Schools” for 2017. UGA will be included with other colleges and universities that provide outstanding service to military veterans in that publication’s 2017 Guide to Colleges and Universities.

For the first time, UGA has also attained a spot on U.S. News and World Report’s annual list of “Best Colleges for Veterans.”

The university was honored again this year by Military Times Magazine as a “2017 Best for Vets” institution and continues to maintain active affiliation with both the Student Veterans of America and the Got Your Six campaign, through which faculty and staff attend training sessions to become certified as veteran-friendly.

“It is our goal for the University of Georgia to be a place where our student veterans can thrive,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “My thanks go to the team of faculty, staff and students across campus who coordinate the many services and resources for our student veterans.”