Established on Florida State's Campus on November 11, 2011, the Student Veterans Center (SVC) acts as the hub for veteran support and success initiatives. Its establishment was fueled by the advocacy of student veterans on campus at the time (including Jared Lyon who is now the CEO of Student Veterans of America in Washington D.C.) and the university president at the time, Eric J. Barron. Colonel Billy Francis took on the role of director of the SVC, transitioning from his position leading Florida State's Air Force ROTC program.
Florida State University takes enormous pride in the high levels of success its student veterans are achieving, which have positioned the university as a national leader for student-veteran support. In particular, the exceptionally high retention and graduation rates FSU student veterans now attain – which are significantly higher than just a few years ago – can be traced to state and university investments in veterans. By building on the benefits afforded veterans through the Florida G.I. Bill, FSU is maximizing the state's return on this educational investment. As a result, veterans at Florida State are earning degrees and launching into meaningful careers at substantially higher rates than the national average. Accordingly, their post-service quality of life, and contributions to their local communities, are significantly enhanced.
Veteran success at Florida State can be attributed to three broad objectives: (1) initiating, cultivating and sustaining relationships between veterans and the FSU community through the Student Veterans Center, (2) providing tangible resources and activities designed to foster these veterans' sense of connectedness to the university, and (3) raising awareness among the university community of the student veteran experience.
To become a national beacon of veteran support and success is the guiding principle of the Veterans Alliance, which encompasses Florida State University initiatives that ease the transition from military service to campus life, foster a community of past, present and future veterans, raise awareness of veterans issues among campus and local communities, and support student veterans through graduation and into rewarding careers and graduate education programs.
- Provide support to Florida State University students who are veterans, veteran dependents, active duty personnel, Reserve and National Guard members, and ROTC cadets
- Leverage university resources in support of Florida State student veterans
- Assist student veterans, service members and dependents in securing Veterans Affairs educational benefits
- Ease the transition to campus life with veteran-specific orientation sessions and first semester course
- Facilitate connections and a sense of community through veteran-centered events and activities
- Provide advice and direction regarding campus and community-based veterans programs and facilities
- Support and assist with veteran-related initiatives including workshops, research and other activities
- Conduct development activities on behalf of veterans programs and facilities
- Heighten awareness of veterans issues among the campus community
- Promote Florida State's veteran-friendly initiatives to external audiences
- Collaborate with local, state and national veterans-support organizations
- Advocate to state and federal lawmakers on behalf of issues relevant to student veterans
- Maintain the veteran-rich heritage of the university
- Recruit an increased number of qualified veterans to Florida State
- Dialogue with Transition Assistance Program (TAP) military personnel