MBU to Co-Sponsor Student Veterans Conference

Mary Baldwin University is partnering with the Student Veterans of Virginia (SVVA) for its 2016 Statewide Conference, which will take place this Friday and Saturday at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center in Staunton. The focus of the conference this year will be on women veterans in higher education.svva-image

For the past four years student veterans from across the Commonwealth have gathered alongside their campus leadership at this annual conference to discuss issues that face service men and women as they make the transition from soldier to scholar. Virginia is home to the highest percentage of veterans younger than 25, and the highest percentage of women veterans in the nation.

“We have partnered with SVVA because we believe our veterans deserve high-quality education,” said Greg Anderson, assistant director of admissions for MBU. “While we certainly make our degree and certificate programs available to our veterans in a military friendly environment, we are not focusing on recruitment during this conference. Our goal is to help our VA veterans, regardless of their choice of institution, receive the benefits they deserve, access the accommodations that they need, and have the voice that they have earned.”

The conference will also have resources available for veterans regardless of their educational status. In addition to administrators from MBU, there will be representatives on site from the Veterans of Foreign Wars legislative office in Washington D.C., the regional office of U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, the Center for Women Veterans, and the Virginia Department of Veteran Services. The Department of Veterans Affairs Mobile Vet Center will also be parked outside of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel providing services ranging from counseling to benefits information for any veteran who wishes to use these services and may not be able to normally reach a VA office.

There will also be an evening of stand-up comedy at 8:30 p.m. on Friday in Francis Auditorium, which will be open to the public.

The SVVA was borne out of the need to share information quickly, efficiently, and effectively with all of the student veterans in the commonwealth. Previously, individual schools worked to spread information to their respective Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapters. The goal of SVVA is to bridge that gap and allow for information and events happening in one part of Virginia to be shared instantaneously.

“Mary Baldwin University offers our veterans the opportunity to take classes either online or in person through our Baldwin Online and Adult Programs,” said MBU President Pamela Fox. “We are a military friendly university, and also take great pride in our direct connection to our military by way of our Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership. As the only all-female corps of cadets in the United States, VWIL demonstrates our commitment to the cause of freedom daily.”

Anderson is actively soliciting volunteers to assist with logistical issues during the conference. For more information, call 540-767-6174 or email ganderson@marybaldwin.edu.