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UK Christens New Veterans Resource Center

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Alan Lytle
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Some of the very first students at the state’s flagship university were military veterans.  Today the University of Kentucky renewed its commitment to this special group of non-traditional students with the dedication of its new and expanded Veterans Resource Center in the lower level of Erickson Hall. 

Center Coordinator Antony Dotson says they’d been making do with a crowded cramped area of the Funkhouser Building…but no more.

"We have about 2,000 square foot of space and if you recall our original space being about 450 square feet, this is a huge improvement and we're just so excited for what it means to our student veterans," Dotson told WUKY.

The new VRC includes a computer lab, conference room, a lounge and kitchen area.  Work-Study coordinator Barry Phillips says veterans and military students now have an area where they can relax, socialize, and learn.

"It's a place for us to be able to really come and get together and it keeps you here.  The last two semesters I've spent here, I'm doing better than ever and this place is what's keeping me here.  I'm excited to continue to work with everyone here and keep that focus on retention of our veterans and really make sure that they know that they are welcomed at the University of Kentucky and we want them here," Phillips said.

When the first center opened in 2009, there were less than 200 veterans enrolled at UK to go along with 85 dependents using veterans benefits…today that combined number is well up over 700. 

Dotson credits the university and several private donations for making the new VRC possible.