With nearly 15 percent of students attending classes at the University Center- Rapid City affiliated with the military, a need arose to cater to the growing student population.

After a year’s work, military students will soon have a place for increased support services with the opening of the Veterans Resource Center. A ribbon cutting will be held Friday, March 15 at 1 p.m. in the University Center-Rapid City (UC-RC) atrium.

Students, faculty and community members are invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony which will include remarks from Joshua Kosola, UC-RC Veteran’s Club president; Gov. Dennis Daugaard; Jerry Wright, commander VFW Post #1273; Col. Mark Weatherington, 28th Bomb Wing commander, Ellsworth Air Force Base; Maj. Gen. Timothy Reisch, adjutant general South Dakota National Guard; Black Hills State University President Kay Schallenkamp; and South Dakota Board of Regents President Kathryn Johnson.  

“Due to the very close proximity of the University Center to both Ellsworth Air Force Base and Camp Rapid, we serve as a major resource for active duty personnel and their families,” said Dr. Craig Johnson, director of the UC-RC. “Our students recognized a need in the current population for increased support for students who are veterans, active duty, or dependents/spouses of veterans.”

Students began last spring looking for available space that could be easily converted into an area for veterans to congregate, have easy access to support materials, and to simply relax, Johnson said. Although the center has limited space, the Veterans Resource Center was a priority with administration.

The Veterans Resource Center will cater to students from all of the six South Dakota public universities attending the UC-RC.

The focus of the Veterans Resource Center is not on the space itself but on the services provided, Johnson said. With the help of many faculty and staff members, support from the Veterans Upward Bound Program and the veterans themselves, the center will offer a variety of services including:

  • Math tutoring;
  • Informational  sessions with the Veterans Affairs;
  • Veterans Club meetings;
  • New student orientation sessions geared directly to veterans and led by current veteran students;
  • Basic preparation/review courses in areas of math/algebra, writing and computers;
  • Resume and cover letter review sessions as well as job search assistance;
  • Social and networking with other area veterans clubs such as Black Hills State University and South Dakota School of Mines & Technology; and
  • Information on local veterans’ organizations, such as Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, and Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

For more information about the Veterans Resource Center, please call Susie Leahy at 605.718.4142 or Susie.Leahy@BHSU.edu