Autumn can be a busy time of year, especially on a university campus as a semester draws to a close.
The Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center is planning a number of events, though most will be held virtually because of COVID-19 and the need to keep participants safe and healthy while adhering to MTSU, state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols.
The center, which is located in the Keathley University Center, is planning:
• The Faculty/Staff Stole Ceremony, starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4. It will be broadcast on True Blue TV, the veteran center’s Facebook page and MTSU Livestream.
• The third annual Veteran Impact Celebration, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5. Visit www.mtsu.edu/military/eventcalendar/register/1478/veteran-impact-celebration for more information. It will be broadcast on the university’s True Blue TV, the Veterans Center’s and MTSU Facebook pages and the MTSU YouTube channel.
• The Roll Call Veteran Speakers’ Series, starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, featuring Jennifer Vedral-Baron, Tennessee Valley Healthcare System director. Free and open to the public, register to at www.mtsu.edu/military/speaker-series to obtain the link to participate.
The center also will have major involvement in the 39th annual Salute to Armed Forces game Saturday, Nov. 7, and host the virtual Graduating Senior Stole Ceremony later in November.
Regarding the virtual Veteran Impact Celebration, Hilary Miller, director of the center, said this event will coincide with the fifth anniversary of the opening of the center and celebrate the legacy of country music legend Charlie Daniels, who died in early June.
“There is so much for which we are thankful,” she said. “In addition to highlighting the impact of the Daniels Center, it is also important to pay our respects to the Daniels family.”
The event is an annual fundraiser for the Daniels Center.
In an MTSU YouTube video invitation to the public, Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU and a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, encourages people to “attend, reflect and celebrate a loving tribute to Charlie Daniels.”
“Invite your leaders, your veterans, their families, your community,” Huber added. “Donate to the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center as we support the transitional needs of our veterans and their families nationwide.”
The event title sponsor is Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electrical, the Presidential sponsor is Dell Technologies and the General sponsor is Censis. A complete list of sponsors, can be found here.
Miller said the Faculty/Staff Stole Ceremony “has quickly become a campus favorite. It is important because it allows us to recognize part of our community that we had previously not recognized and because the relationships we have been able to build with the participants benefits our students.”
“MTSU has always been a military-supportive campus,” she added. “But since the start of the faculty/staff stole ceremonies, I call on our veteran faculty and staff in a way that I didn’t before. And they show up for everything. They are an extremely supportive group.”
MTSU’s Daniels Center is the largest and most comprehensive veterans center on any Tennessee higher education campus. To learn more about the veterans center, home to more than 1,000 student veterans and their family members, call 615-904-8347 or visit https://www.mtsu.edu/military/.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)