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MSU Celebrates Veterans Day by Supporting Spartans Who Serve

Thank You Veterans painted on MSU rock

MSU Celebrates Veterans Day by Supporting Spartans Who Serve

Learn more about the impact of the MSU Veterans Day campaign

Spartans and friends from around the world came together to celebrate Veterans Day by supporting programs serving veterans and military-connected students at MSU. Thanks to the generosity of the MSU community, the third annual “Support Spartan Veterans” campaign was a tremendous success, raising over $35,000 for featured student veteran support projects.

Since 2020, collectively the MSU Veterans Day campaign has raised almost $100,000 for programs, resources and scholarships supporting veterans and military-connected students at Michigan State.

Patrick Forystek, the director of the MSU Student Veterans Resource Center (SVRC), said he is extremely grateful for the support from donors during the Veterans Day campaign.“So much of what we do to serve our military and student veteran community would not be possible without donor support,” said Forystek.

Patrick Forystek Headshot

According to Forystek, student veterans often differ from the general MSU student population. Almost half are first-generation college students, compared to 25% of other MSU students, and most have been away from school for four or more years prior to coming to MSU. For these reasons and others, transitioning to college life can be a major challenge, which is why he said having resources to support these students is so critical.

“Our mission at the SVRC is to create a welcoming environment where all our students can grow and succeed. Events like the Veterans Day campaign give us the tools we need to accomplish this mission every day,” said Forystek.

 

For Ashley Van Camp (Social Work, ‘24), the SVRC played a pivotal role in helping her adjust to college life after serving seven years in the U.S. Navy. 

“Not only did the SVRC provide a place for me to study, relax and converse with students of similar backgrounds, but those working there also informed me of multiple resources I could be using as I continue my educational journey. I feel better prepared as a student and as a veteran trying to learn how to navigate civilian life because of SVRC.” 

Ashley Van Camp 4
Ashley Van Camp headshot
Ashley Van Camp 3
Ashley Van Camp 2

In addition to the SVRC, the Veterans Day campaign featured several other initiatives at MSU benefiting the veteran and military community, such as a project supporting scholarships for the first in the nation Combat Veteran Certificate program, the MSU Extension Veterans Therapy Garden, the Engineering Student Veterans Resource fund and much more. You can see all the featured Veterans Day projects here.

Thanks to a generous lead gift from MSU parent, donor and veterans advocate Jaime Barker, the first $5,000 in gifts on Veterans Day were matched dollar for dollar, up to $100 per donor. “I am so grateful for Jaime’s continued support of our Spartan veteran community,” said Forystek.

Initiatives like the Veterans Day campaign provide the resources needed to maintain and enhance MSU’s place as a national leader in providing educational opportunities to student veterans. For six consecutive years, Michigan State University has earned the highest ranking “Gold Status” from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. Over 70% of MSU student veterans graduate, compared to the national average of 11%.

Make a Difference by Supporting Spartan Veterans Who Served

You can learn more about the SVRC here. For more information about how you can support opportunities for student veterans at MSU, visit givingto.msu.edu/veterans-day.cfm

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.


Contributing Writer(s): Alex Dardas