Dedication, open house activities planned for new Veterans Success Center in the PMU

September 8, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University officials will dedicate the new Veterans Success Center on Thursday (Sept. 11), after a renovation made possible by student and faculty efforts, alumni donations and initiatives by outside businesses and organizations.

The dedication and open house is 3-5 p.m. in the Purdue Memorial Union's Great Hall. Provost Debasish Dutta will speak, followed by a presentation that will feature a flag flown in Afghanistan and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Light refreshments will be provided.

"Since the Purdue Memorial Union was built to memorialize those who had lost their lives in World War I, the relocation of the VSC allows both the Union and the VSC to honor and fulfill their respective missions," said Jamie Richards, coordinator for the Military Veterans and Nontraditional Student Programs at Purdue.

The Purdue Student Veteran's Organization is organizing the open house and dedication, while the Purdue-led Military Family Research Institute is assisting with promotion.

The new VSC, in rooms 284-286 of the PMU, will house administrative staff and the office for the Purdue Student Veteran's Organization. Student veterans will have access to the space anytime during PMU hours of operation.

"We will provide a one-stop-shop for knowledge and access to GI Bill benefits and help direct traffic for connecting with other campus programs and state and federal veteran benefits," Richards said. "Through the entire process, the provost's office has been able to navigate institutional roadblocks and help keep the path clear toward the final renovations in the PMU."

Amenities in the renovated center will include study spaces, a widescreen TV and a listening table, which was designed by Klipsch Audio Technologies so veteran students can study and listen to their own music. The listening table has USB ports, outlets and five headphone sets.

Klipsch, based in Indianapolis, is also donating entertainment equipment, including a sound bar for the TV, and portable Bluetooth speakers. Company founder Paul Klipsch, who was born in Indiana, served in the Army Reserves and worked as a weapons systems engineer in World War II. His father was an instructor in Purdue’s mechanical engineering program.

After the war, Paul Klipsch designed and created his first set of speakers and launched the company. In 1989, the global company was sold to cousin Fred Klipsch, who received an honorary Doctor of Technology degree from Purdue in 2007. Two of Fred's sons also attended Purdue. The current CEO is Paul Jacobs.

The Home Depot Foundation, together with the Student Veterans of America, also made the Purdue center's renovations possible.

Home Depot Foundation's VetCenter Initiative, which helps student veterans groups on college campuses provide designated space for their organizations, awarded $10,000 to the Purdue Student Veteran's Organization in the form of Home Depot gift cards. Through the gift cards, the Purdue group was able to partially fund renovations and purchase furniture for the VSC.

Richards said the VSC will continue to work closely with the Purdue Student Veteran's Organization to improve services for veteran and military students and immediately connect new students with their peers.

"The intent is that when a new student starts utilizing benefits, then they can immediately connect with a built-in network of fellow veteran students," Richards said.

Purdue originally opened the VSC in the summer of 2013 in the Engineering Administration Building, which along with the attached retired power plant is being demolished this fall to make way for the new Active Learning Center. 

Writers: Anna Schultz, 219-363-2599, 

Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133,  

Source: Jamie Richards, 

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