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Page 9
Campus Review
March 26, 2012
needs of student veterans transitioning
from the military to higher education.
These students’ numbers were increasing
as they returned to use GI Benefits for
college education.”
In keeping with Karaa’s vision for the
VRC, the speakers at today’s ceremony
emphasized the unique needs of student
veterans, as well as their contributions to
both the nation and the University.
Clayton State President Dr. Thomas J.
Hynes specifically thanked the members
of the University’s Veterans Task Force,
and, like Karaa, noted the importance of
the G.I. Bill to both veterans and higher
“The Veterans Resource Center is part of
our saying `thank you,’” he added.
Brigadier General (Ret.) Robert L.
“Steve” Stephens, Clayton State vice
president for external relations and execu-
tive assistant to the president, noted the
importance of veterans on campus, and
added that we should work all year long to
take care of veterans, and not just on
Veterans Day.
“Veterans need to get help and counseling
when they return from the service,” he
said. “Today, we are united in recognizing
and respecting veterans.
“(The Veterans Resource Center) is a
great start for our student veterans.”
Edwin Starks, president of the Clayton
State Student Veterans Association, noted
that the VRC will help many student vet-
erans in some very basic ways.
“Student veterans may not understand
how to transverse higher education,” he
pointed out. “They need to know who to
ask for help. The Veterans Resource
Center will facilitate this and will be a
source of information, as well as being a
safe haven where we can speak our ver-
“The mission of supporting veterans
never ends. We must press on until every
student veteran feels the embrace of all of
the campus.”
Concluding the opening ceremonies were
Commander Tony Dobbins of the local
Veterans of Foreign Wars and student vet-
eran Valerie Lewis, who served in the
U.S. Army and the Georgia Army
National Guard from 2001 to 2009, and is
a veteran of tours of duty in both
Afghanistan (March 2002 - October 2002)
and Iraq (January 2004 - January 2005).
Dobbins presented Hynes with a $400
contribution for the Veterans Resource
Center and Lewis presented the president
with an American flag that flew in
Afghanistan during her tour of duty there.
Karaa, who is also serving as the interim
director of the VRC, says that the VRC
will offer a centralized venue regarding
veteran information and resources and
will also provide veterans with a sense of
camaraderie and peer support. The VRC
will provide referrals for on campus serv-
ices as well as referrals to VA facilities and
local military support. There will also be
information available for new students at
orientation, postings for employment
opportunities, events, and a place to meet
and study with other veterans and military
Clayton State was named a Top Military-
Friendly University in October 2010 by
Military Advanced Education magazine, a
publication that targets military and mili-
tary education office personnel, govern-
ment employees, higher education institu-
tions, the Pentagon, and the White House.
Clayton State received a $20,000 grant
from the Board of Regents of the
University System of Georgia, represent-
ed at the grand opening by Associate Vice
Chancellor for Student Affairs, and former
Clayton State Registrar, Tonya Lam, to
establish the VRC.
VRC, cont’d. from p. 2