Our veterans exemplify what it means to be a Volunteer. That’s why I am proud that today we announced our new Veteran’s Impact Program, a first-of-its-kind initiative to help our student veterans adjust to college life, connect with resources they need to succeed, and build a community that will help them thrive.
Our student veterans come to campus with very different experiences than many of their classmates. This is an asset—both for them and for our campus community. It can also make it harder to find your place. By bringing these students together in a program that is designed specifically for them, we are helping them get both the academic support they need to succeed in the classroom and build the connections and relationships that will help them feel at home on our campus.
I am proud of our status as a top 50 public university for veterans and our designations as a Military Friendly Gold School and Military Spouse Friendly School. We have worked hard to help our veterans, active military, and ROTC cadets make Rocky Top their home, including offering in-state tuition.
Every year, at Torch Night, our incoming students take a pledge to “step forward in moments big and small, to serve and to lead, and to light the way for others.” I can think of no bigger display of that leadership and service than to step forward and say, “I will serve my country.”