MSU veterans center director receives national recognition

Ken McRae (Photo by Russ Houston)

Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Col. Ken McRae (Ret.), director of Mississippi State University’s G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans, is receiving national recognition for going “above and beyond” as an advocate for veterans on college campuses.

Last week, McRae received the Supra et Ultra Award from the NASPA Veterans Knowledge Community. NASPA is the nation’s leading association of student affairs professionals.

“MSU’s Center for America’s Veterans is a leading example of how to support student veterans and our military affiliated students,” MSU Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Hyatt said. “Ken McRae’s leadership of this great department continues to be innovative and visionary. He gives of his time and energy to help colleagues across the country improve their veteran support centers, and to be recognized by the NASPA Veterans Knowledge community is a tremendous honor. We are very proud of the work Ken and his team do here at Mississippi State to ensure our veterans and military-affiliated students have what they need to be successful.”

McRae has led the Center for America’s Veterans for six years. During his tenure, MSU has been recognized many times for its support of veterans and their dependents. Last fall, the veterans center moved into a new facility at Nusz Hall. The $2.5 million building features student support spaces, a computer lab, study rooms, a meeting area and administrative offices, which serve the veteran community at MSU. Approximately 775 veterans and service members are students at MSU. Including dependents, the veteran community comprises more than 2,300 students on campus.

In 2015, the Military Order of the Purple Heart designated MSU as a “Purple Heart University” for its outstanding service to military veterans, service members, dependents and survivors. MSU was ranked No. 31 in the 2017 Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 rankings.

“I am humbled to receive this award,” McRae said. “However, this award is not just about me. It speaks volumes about the Center for America’s Veterans staff, the support from the Division of Student Affairs and the MSU administration, faculty, staff and community. Because of the supportive environment that has been created on campus for the MSU veteran community, I am afforded the opportunity to talk about best practices nationwide and to work individually with other colleges and universities to start or improve their veterans and military programs.”

For more on the NASPA Veterans Knowledge Community, visit https://www.naspa.org/constituent-groups/kcs/veterans.

More information on MSU’s services available to veterans can be found at www.veterans.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.