STARKVILLE, Miss.--A Starkville native and Army Reserve captain is being named director of Mississippi State's new G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Center for America's Veterans.
Andrew S. Rendon, a Blackhawk helicopter pilot whose active service included Balkan peacekeeping duties during the late 1990s, will serve as the primary link to military veterans who enroll at the university. He also will work off campus to recruit others to pursue their higher educations at the 128-year-old land-grant institution.
The Montgomery Center was conceived by MSU President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong, a retired four-star general who commanded U.S. Air Force operations in Europe prior to his retirement earlier this year. It is among several campus memorials to the late MSU alumnus,
3rd District congressman and Foglesong friend whose boundless work on behalf of service men and women earned him the honorary U.S. House of Representatives title of "Mr. Veteran."
"We will focus primarily on three major initiatives," said Rendon, an MSU alumnus. "In addition to recruiting, they will include academic and career enhancement, and job placement assistance. Specifically, we will work to provide our constituents with value-added services that ensure both academic and lifelong successes."
A part of MSU's Division of Student Affairs, the center is working closely with the office of Dean of Students Mike White.
Rendon, a master's degree graduate in public policy and administration, said his offices recently moved to 45 Magruder Street, which formerly was home to the Shackouls Honors College. A Nov. 18 open house and reception will formally launch the program's operation, he added.
"Our next steps will involve the development of a computer self-help program and the addition of a veteran's certification officer," Rendon said. The certification officer will be responsible for establishing the participants' eligibility and verifying their enrollment and academic progress, he explained.
In discussing the center's "one-stop-shopping" mission, Rendon alluded to the former Mississippi A&M College's early military-oriented traditions and its direct, armed service training programs in both world wars.
"MSU always has supported our men and women in uniform," he said. "Also, because we are a memorial to Congressman Montgomery, our goal always must be to provide nothing less than comprehensive, professional service to all veterans who choose to attend the university."
For additional information on the Montgomery Center for America's Veterans, contact Rendon at 662-325-6720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Mississippi State University, see http://www.msstate.edu/.