MVSC Celebrates Five Years of Service
By Dan Silvia
Bellevue University’s Military Veterans Services Center (MVSC) is celebrating its fifth anniversary on June 1, 2018, and all of Military Appreciation Month. The MVSC held its grand opening back in 2013 highlighted by a ribbon-cutting ceremony with now-Major General Jason Evans, United States Army, a Bellevue University alum. Since that time the MVSC has achieved several milestones including being the first and only on-campus facility to host a Disabled American Veterans (DAV) office.
JR Richardson, Director of the MVSC, said the Center has lived up to the vision that was shared for its upon its creation. “I think the place is a direct reflection of the leadership here at Bellevue University,” he said. “The Center has had such a vast impact on student lives.”
The relationship with the William V. Brooks Chapter of the DAV has been a hallmark of what the MVSC has strived to achieve – bringing veterans together with the services and benefits to which they are entitled. In February 2018, the DAV celebrated the 2,000th veteran served at the MVSC. The center has 13 bonded and certified DAV service representatives ready to assist veterans.
“Those are all veterans that through their service have earned those benefits,” Richardson explained. “That is a benefit that allows them to compete or participate in the local economy. That could translate into a house payment, a rent payment, a car payment. That could be going back to school.”
Organizations such as Veteran Leader Corps, the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the DAV, have assembled inside the nearly 6,000-square foot Rotert Building, which houses the MVSC. Located at 2108 Harvell Drive., the building is named for Bill and Alice Rotert, the previous owners of the building. Rotert was also a member of the Strategic Air Command Museum.
Other services available at the MVSC include:
- Bellevue University Mentor/Protégé (BUMP) program – Forming the three-member BUMP team helps participants create a bridge to transition from military member to college student and from college graduate to a meaningful, rewarding civilian career.
- The MVSC houses VetSuccess on Campus Counselor Holly Mathieu, who provides veterans with career counseling, resources and referrals.
- Personal support – Dr. Jon Kayne, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University, is another resource at the MVSC. Kayne volunteers once a week as a psychologist.
- Workshops – Vet Xpress Creative, in collaboration with the New Century Art Guild, provides creative workshops and classes in art mediums for recreational, therapeutic, and professional benefit to the Veteran community. Other therapeutic offerings include Guitars for Vets and Project Healing Waters
The MVSC offers military and veteran students and community veterans a place they can just hang out in with people who have shared similar experiences. WiFi, snacks, printing/scanning, office spaces and cubicles are all available at the MVSC
“We’re here to be a part of the education and transitioning journey. I think that’s going to keep our plates pretty full,” Richardson said. “I’m very proud of the work that has and continues to be done here at the MVSC and of all of the contributions made by Bellevue University leaders, alum, and individuals and organizations within the community. We’ve been able to help thousands over the years. It feels good to have a positive impact on the community.”
For more information, Contact the MVSC on the Bellevue University campus at 866-676-3614 or firstname.lastname@example.org.