Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans dedicates new lounge at MSU-Meridian

Contact:  Lisa SollieThe Montgomery Center for America's Veterans and MSU-Meridian staff celebrate the opening of a new veteran lounge at MSU-Meridian

MERIDIAN, Miss.—Long recognized as one of the nation’s most veteran-friendly universities, Mississippi State is expanding support for military-connected students at MSU-Meridian’s College Park Campus.

The university’s G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans celebrated a ribbon cutting Tuesday [April 16] for a new veteran’s lounge, a space dedicated for student military members and their families. The lounge is equipped with comfortable seating, computer work station with free printing, as well as a microwave and coffeemaker.

Led by retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brian Locke, the Montgomery Center provides comprehensive support annually for more than 2,800 military-connected students in Starkville and nearly 100 students at the Meridian campuses.

“We wanted students to have a place they where could come and relax before, between or after classes, as well as a location to do homework or print something if needed,” Locke said.

Terry Dale Cruse, administrative director and head of campus for MSU-Meridian, expressed gratitude for the Montgomery Center’s commitment to support veterans and military-connected students across the university and beyond.

“We are very appreciative of the Center’s vision to expand services to military students attending our campuses,” Cruse said. “Veterans are a significant and integral part of our student population, due in part to the close proximity of the 186 Air Refueling Wing and Naval Air Station in Meridian. We hope the addition of this lounge is just the beginning.”

Working with the Mississippi National Guard, Mississippi State offers the Bulldog Free Tuition Program that builds on Mississippi Air and Army National Guard education benefits. While the National Guard has a beneficial tuition program for eligible service members at all Mississippi colleges and universities, MSU is the only state university where Mississippi National Guard soldiers can attend college without paying tuition.

The university was designated as a 2019 Top 10 Military Friendly school for its commitment to supporting service members, veterans and their dependents. The distinction was awarded to MSU by VIQTORY, formerly Victory Media, which annually evaluates post-secondary schools for support of student veterans.

MSU also has earned the designation by SR Education Group as one of the nation’s top military-friendly online colleges, coming in at No. 16 in the organization’s “Yellow Ribbon” rankings and is listed No. 9 for the most affordable military-friendly online bachelor’s degree. The rankings were calculated using data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill Comparison Tool, which evaluates military culture, online support, flexibility and financial assistance.

Additional information on the university’s veteran resource program may be found at

For more about MSU-Meridian, visit

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