Military Resource Center Opens at Saint Leo in Apartment 4

August 29, 2016

Saint Leo University’s military community has a new place to call home. The Military Resource Center, located in Apartment Building 4 in the former Lakeside Room, will serve as a gathering place where student-veterans, active-duty and reserve servicemembers, and ROTC cadets can relax, study, meet with advisors, and receive help from external support centers.

MRC-sign

On Thursday, August 25, Pamela Martis, new director of the Office of Military Affairs and Services (formerly known as Veteran Student Services), hosted a welcome orientation at the Military Resource Center. New and returning student-veterans, military family member students, and ROTC students, as well as faculty and staff, were welcomed to the MRC.

Martis, a retired U.S. Army colonel, and staff assistant John Morgan, who also is a student veteran, invited many guests to provide information about programs and support services available to the Saint Leo students.

From Career Planning to the Office of Accessibility Services at Saint Leo, to outside groups such as CareerSource Pasco Hernando, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Pasco County Vet Center, and the Disabled American Veterans, students learned about what services they can obtain. Guests discussed veteran educational benefit programs, employment opportunities, counseling services, and student success. Two orientation programs were held—one in the morning and one following a luncheon—to accommodate students’ schedules.

Father Kyle Smith, chaplain of University Ministry, led those gathered in a prayer for the success of the new center, the success of the students, and the safekeeping of all military. “God’s kindness has brought us together to bless the Military Resource Center,” he said.

MRC-Dr Lennox

University President William J. Lennox Jr., retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, welcomed the student veterans, ROTC students, and all in attendance to shouts of the Army’s “Hooah!” with a Marine Corps’ “Oorah!” thrown in for good measure. “It’s a great day to be a veteran, and it’s a great day to be ROTC,” Lennox said. “And, go, Lions!”

The new Military Resource Center is an example of Saint Leo University’s commitment to serving the military. The university began educating military personnel on base at Avon Park, FL, in 1973. Since then, Saint Leo has been committed to providing education to active duty military, reserves, veterans, ROTC, and their families at University Campus as well as online and at the more than 40 education centers and offices—many located on military bases.

ROTC Cadet Calvin Cribbs, who is working on his MBA with a specialization in information security management and also is a sergeant in the U.S. Army, said the new Military Resource Center is “fantastic.”

Cribbs also completed his undergraduate degree at Saint Leo, including classes at the Ocala Education Center, and appreciated the support he received. “Anytime I needed anything, I could ask my advisor or instructors,” he said. “They always were helpful.”

MRC-Operation Standdown

Martis plans to continue that culture of support with the new Military Resource Center. The Office of Military Affairs and Services also will support Operation Stand Down, scheduled for September 29 to October 1, at Veterans Memorial Park in Hudson, FL. The office will collect donations of new socks, which will be distributed to homeless veterans during Operation Stand Down. 

For information about the Military Resource Center or the Office of Military Affairs and Services, contact Martis at pamela.martis@saintleo.edu or (352) 588-8234.