JONESBORO – As a part of better focusing its core mission, the Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans at Arkansas State University is shortening its name to the Beck Center for Veterans. It is also joining with other units on campus as a key component of the new Office of Military and Veteran Student Success program.
The goal is to have a first-stop shop for student veterans and military-affiliated students to gain assistance and resources on the A-State campus. The services currently offered under the Beck Center for Veterans will continue, while a program coordinator and certifying official will join the efforts to create a veteran and military student success team.
The office will work to spearhead platforms, communication and other opportunities and initiatives for students in the campus population. Several offices and individuals currently work on programs for military and veteran students. The objective is to have those offices and persons work together in a more intentional way that leads to increased success for military and veteran students. The overall office name signifies it as a space specifically dedicated to the success of military and veteran students at Arkansas State University.
“We are excited that Beck Center will be able to continue signature programs such as anger management courses, Battle Buddies Paws for Vets (service dog training) and occupational therapy while partnering with additional staff to enhance student programs and resources for military and veteran students at A-State,” said Dr. Evette Allen, executive director, Multicultural Affairs and Inclusive Excellence.
“Veterans and military persons give so much of themselves for the country and we sincerely thank them for their service. We hope the new structure will provide a streamlined process and increased programs and services to best serve military and veteran students at Arkansas State University.”
“Beck Veterans has been one of our most successful community outreach programs, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to further its important mission as a part of our university’s commitment to community engagement,” Dr. Maurice Gipson, vice chancellor for Diversity and Community Engagement said. “Beck Veterans’ track record is remarkable, and by bringing it together with similar programs to support current and future military members and their families, it provides A-State the opportunity to become known as not only a veteran and military friendly university, but the leader for our region for those who are serving America.”
Allen explained there are milestones that will take place over the next several months to launch the new office. Lynda Nash will continue to serve as the center director. The official name change of Beck Center and the new office name was noted in the Chancellor’s (Dr. Kelly Damphousse) January First Friday video.
“I believe this will be less confusing for our veterans as the name change showcases who we serve on a daily basis,” Nash stated.
A construction project is currently in the works to renovate space in the Military Science Building on campus. The space is being renovated to serve as the Office of Military and Veteran Student Success, and will include Beck Center for Veterans along with other key personnel serving military and veteran students. Once the vacant space is renovated, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be scheduled later in the year.
The Beck Center for Veterans became a reality in 2007 under its original name and through the generosity of A-State alumni Buddy and Charlotte Beck of Fairfax Station, Va., who presented the university with a gift of $1 million. The center has been a part of the College of Nursing and Health Professions from the beginning.
The program’s mission is to provide combat-wounded veterans with first-class educational programs and services at Arkansas State University. These include, but are not limited to, resources to access to the higher education experience, resources for counseling, personal rehabilitation, advocacy and financial assistance to help support these individuals to achieve their post-military service goals.
More than 300 students are served through the various programs that serve military and veteran students each semester.