With nearly one hundred of MSU Meridian’s students being veterans or dependent upon a veteran, the campus has now dedicated a space of their own thanks to the university’s G.V. Sonny Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans. “We wanted to open a veteran lounge to have a place for our student veterans and family members of veterans. We wanted them to have a place to call their own. They can come here before class, after class, or in between classes and have a place to study, hangout, get a cup of coffee, and really fellowship together with fellow veterans or other families of veterans,” said Brian S. Locke who is the director of Center For America’s Veterans at Mississippi State University.
Locke began discussing with the Meridian branch about a lounge back in the fall after the main branch in Starkville created one for their on-campus veteran students. While most of these particular students have a different background, this lounge will allow them to come together in the same spot. “They’re usually a little bit older than their traditional students. Some of them are trying to balance families or trying to balance full-time and part-time jobs while going to college. I think it’s just important that we recognize that service and sacrifice by saying, ‘Hey, this is a place for you. We thank you for everything you’ve done, and here’s a spot that you can call your own and hangout at,’” said Locke. Locke serves nearly 2,800 military students on MSU’s main campus in Starkville in addition to the nearly 100 students on the Meridian Campus.