Oklahoma State University’s Student Veteran Success Center has been on campus to help student veterans with anything they may need, but until this summer, it was hard to find.
Previously located in the North Classroom Building on the edge of campus, the center was officially reopened Nov. 12 in a ceremony at the Student Union. OSU President Kayse Shrum, Coordinator of Student Veteran Success Vincent Rivera, as well as two OSU students, spoke at the event, highlighting OSU’s sustained commitment to supporting veterans.
Dr. Shrum has a deep connection to the armed forces. Her father, Dennis Donnelly, is a Vietnam veteran, and her paternal grandparents served in World War II. Speaking to a crowd from the Student Union balcony, she gestured toward the 7,068 flags in front of Edmon Low Library representing service members lost in combat since 2001 as a reminder of the sacrifice veterans have made and continue to make.
“I personally find supporting our veterans very near and dear to my heart. I know that freedom, our freedoms that we have, are not free,” Dr. Shrum said. “... Someone paid those prices for us. And I think all we have to do is look across library lawn to be reminded of the importance of that, and what gratitude we all should have that we're here today, celebrating the way that we are.
“Those that didn't lose their life still gave. They gave up their time, their innocence and many things we'll never know. And they did that for people they'll never meet. So we all have a debt of gratitude.”
The Student Veteran Success Center, now located at 061 Student Union, is a dedicated space for veterans to relax, study and build community.