College success for veterans is focus of April 2 conference

College success for veterans is focus of April 2 conference

March 21, 2016

Maryville College will hold its annual Creating College Success for Veterans Conference on April 2 in the Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall of the Clayton Center for the Arts.

Jointly organized by the College’s Student Veterans Association and Military Student Services Advisory Council, the conference was first held last year and is intended to be a “forum for the exchange of best practices in providing services for student veterans,” said Lt. Col. (R) Ted Higgs, Maryville College’s director of military student services.

The conference is free and open to the public, but student veterans and college administrators are encouraged to attend, especially.

“This would include administrative support and admissions, academic assistance involving both instructors and out-of-class tutoring and study opportunities, campus life and career planning,” Higgs explained. “I think Maryville College is fairly well along in many of these areas, but there is always room for improvement.”

In addition to presentations on the student veteran population and campus centers for veterans, this year’s event will include a special announcement by Yvette Martinez, assistant commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services. Martinez is expected to announce the creation of a new position that will benefit student veterans in East Tennessee.

Registration for the conference begins at 8:30 a.m., with the welcome and opening remarks starting at 9 a.m.

Huber is keynote speaker

Lt. Gen. (R) Keith M. HuberLt. Gen. (R) Keith M. Huber will deliver the keynote address, “The Academic Terrain from My Foxhole,” at 10:45 a.m.

Huber spent 38 years in commissioned service in the United States Army before joining the administration at Middle Tennessee State University as senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives. In this role, he examines the university’s policies and practices for the recruitment and student success of veterans and their family members.

Huber is the highest-ranking retired officer serving in such a role among all of Tennessee’s public and private higher education institutions.

“Apart from a brilliant military career, Lieutenant General Huber is an eloquent speaker and an inspiration to all those who have had the privilege to work with him,” Higgs said. “He epitomizes the dedication that we all should feel towards providing our veterans the best educational experience possible. Anyone coming to the conference will not be disappointed in the message he will be delivering."

Panel brings it all together

Higgs and other organizers have involved several local veterans in this year’s conference.

To close out the conference, United States Air Force Lt. Col. Dennis Lovin, who retired as a chaplain, will moderate a panel of veterans and college administrators to discuss how student veterans, colleges and communities can forge a bond.           

“One thing one learns in the service is to work as a team, and that's exactly what we have in mind with the conference,” Higgs said. “This year we have received conference reservations from a good number of schools. Many of these have well established veteran programs and many are just getting started.

“We are hoping for a good exchange of information between all groups present.”

The conference will end at 1 p.m.

For more information, contact Higgs at 865.981.8348 or

By Karen Beaty Eldridge '94, Executive Director for Marketing & Communications

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2018 semester is 1,154.