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New TCC center to serve military service members, veterans, families

Military service members, veterans and their families finally have a place to call their own at Tidewater Community College.

TCC opened its new Center for Military and Veterans Education (CMVE) with a special ceremony under a brilliant autumn sky on Veterans Day. The “one-stop shop” in the Kempsville building on the Virginia Beach Campus is a comprehensive clearinghouse for academic and student support services dedicated to the 14,000-plus military related students who call TCC home.

“The educational success of those who serve or who have served in our military is more than a bunch of numbers or even accolades for us at TCC,” said President Edna Baehre-Kolovani. “We are serving students. We are affecting lives. We are walking the walk.”

The CMVE includes expanded, dedicated staff and advisors specializing in the unique needs of military-related students on TCC’s campuses and around the world. Staff members are trained to help students with admissions needs and financial concerns while developing a roadmap for professional success.

“It is important that this center, although located on the Virginia Beach Campus, serves all of our military-related students with offices on the other three campuses as well as the military bases in our region,” Baehre-Kolovani said. “Through technology, our staff is assisting TCC students wherever they may be serving around the globe.”

The ceremony also included remarks by an active duty student from the U.S. Navy, a military spouse and a veteran – each of whom paid testimony to the unique transition that veterans endure when enrolling in college.

Terrie L. Suit
Terrie L. Suit

The Honorable Terrie L. Suit, secretary of Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security for the Commonwealth, made the keynote remarks.

“This is really personal to me. I came to this campus as a young enlisted wife in 1991” Suit said. “Had there been a one-stop center for me, it would have made my life so much easier,” she said.

Suit graduated from TCC in 2003 and received her bachelor’s from Old Dominion University in 2005. She credits TCC for paving the way for her success and continuing its commitment to veteran students.

“What better way to honor them then to dedicate this facility,” Suit said.

The ceremony included a commemorative flag-folding observance and closed with a cake cutting ceremony, a military tradition.

The center will hold its first open house from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. The Kempsville building is located at 1700 College Crescent on the Virginia Beach Campus.