Kaskaskia College Dedicates New Veteran and Military Family Student Center

Rep. Blaine Wilhour attended the dedication of the New KC Veterans Center Photo credit: WJBD / WSIQ Radio

Kaskaskia College recently dedicated the new Veterans Center just off the main Student Center on the main campus in Centralia.

“Thank you to Kaskaskia College President George Evans and the KC Board for all you do to make your campus a welcoming environment for the men and women who serve our great country,” said Rep. Blaine Wilhour, a veteran of the Army National Guard. “I’m encouraged to know that the center was funded entirely by private donations to show the kind of local support we continue to have for our veterans.”

College President George Evans called the dedication a good day for the college and commented that “it’s the least we could do to pay back all the sacrifices that you have made over all the years and I can assure you from the administration and Board of Trustee’s that this facility will be open as long as this college is here.  It’s the least we can do for this institution.”

KC student and military veteran Jodi Roper noted when she first came to KC she kept her military service to herself. She said she wasn’t ashamed, but just didn’t feel she could relate with the other students. Roper says that ended when she joined the KC Veterans Club where she was able to speak with other veterans and share their struggles. She feels the Veterans Center will further help vets on campus.

It will provide members of the military community the opportunity to have the same level of comradery and support that they had in their units. The center will aid veterans while transitioning not only in the civilian arena but into college life as well.  This center provides a place where studying, peer mentoring and tutoring can take place. 

The idea of the center was the dream of Veterans Services Coordinator Carrie Hancock who admitted she was surprised with how quickly Vice President of Instructional Services Ashley Becker, a veteran herself, and the college President jumped on board. College Board member Jim Beasley noted the college is already in the top ten percent of institutions around the country.

The Center’s mission is to provide a space for the military community of Kaskaskia College to come together for camaraderie and support, while transitioning from the military to the classroom. Goals for the Center include connecting members of the military community as well as building involvement with KC’s Student Veterans of America (SVA) Chapter. In addition, peer to peer tutoring and mentoring programs will be established.