Kennesaw State opens Veterans Resource Center
"One-stop shop” focuses on making college more accessible to nation’s veterans…
(Nov 8, 2010) — "One-stop shop” focuses on making college more accessible to nation’s veterans
KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov. 9, 2010) — Kennesaw State University announced that it has launched a Veterans Resource Center
as the nation prepares to celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 11. KSU’s Veterans Resource
Center is a one-stop shop for veterans who wish to start or continue their college
education. Part of Student Success Services, the center counsels veterans with processing
applications for Veterans Affairs educational benefits and assists them with enrollment.
“It gives me great pleasure and fills me with a deep sense of pride to dedicate the
Veterans Resource Center to the women and men of the United States military who have
served our country in times of war and peace,” said Jerome Ratchford, KSU’s vice president
for student success. “Without their sacrifice, this great nation would not long have
survived. It is only right that we seek to help these guardians of freedom as they
pursue the goal of higher education.”
Ratchford noted KSU has experienced a 4 percent increase in the number of veterans
enrolled between 2000 and 2004. “Given the uptick in enrollment of veterans and the
unique challenges they face compared to our traditional student base,” Ratchford said,
“the establishment of the Veterans Resource Office makes great sense at this time.”
KSU also announced it has appointed Frank Wills, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran,
as the new center’s director. In this capacity, Wills advises veterans enrolled at
the university and collaborates with other campus entities, including the offices
of the registrar and financial aid. He also helps veterans as they acclimate to campus
life, assisting them with obtaining their educational benefits and acting as a liaison
between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the university. Wills works closely
with veterans student groups on campus and with the national veterans community.
Wills, who brings more than eight years of military experience, comes well-equipped
to help veterans continue their education to prepare for a post-military career. A
Marine Corps veteran of the initial invasion of Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Wills’
unit was credited with helping capture and secure the Mosul airfield. He received
the Combat Action Ribbon, the Humanitarian Assistance Ribbon and the Global War on
Terrorism Good Conduct Medal. In 2005 he enlisted in the Army National Guard.
“We are pleased to welcome Frank Wills aboard as the leader of our new Veterans Resource
Center,” said Bob Mattox, assistant dean and director of student success services.
“With his military expertise and his experience helping fellow veterans navigate their
way in academia, he is uniquely positioned to lead the center.”
Wills earned a bachelor’s and a master’s in public/policy administration from Mississippi
State University. In 2009 he was named a Tillman Military Scholar, an award given
by the Pat Tillman Foundation in recognition of his community leadership.
Wills was co-founder of the national Student Veterans Association and was elected
southeastern regional director. As a graduate assistant at Mississippi State, he worked
for the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans and presented a proposal
to a congressional subcommittee supporting policy changes to assist student-veterans
Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more
than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business
and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the
35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential
institution with a growing population of more than 23,300 students from 142 countries.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.