Military Academy Day

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Saturday, October 13, 2018, 10:00 a.m.
Jackson Avenue Center

Good morning, and welcome. It’s a pleasure to be here. We’re honored the university is serving as your host site today. I’d like to thank Congressman Trent Kelly’s office for organizing today’s events.

To all of the students here, I commend your interest in learning more about the U.S. Military Academies, and I thank you for your willingness to serve. I wish each of you the best of luck in your pursuit of a spot at one of the academies, which rank among the most distinguished institutions of higher education in our country.

Your presence here today demonstrates that you take your future, and our nation’s future, seriously. I consider those traits to be characteristic of an Ole Miss Rebel. If your path toward higher education takes you along a more traditional route, I hope you’ll consider the University of Mississippi. Here are a few reasons why:

  • We’re committed to academic excellence.
  • We have an amazing group of faculty who really care about student success.
  • Our community values integrity and respect.
  • Our campus is consistently recognized as one of the nation’s most beautiful.
  • And we’re located in one of America’s great college towns known for being a lot of fun and offering great cultural opportunities.
  • Many of Mississippi’s greatest leaders are graduates of the University of Mississippi, including Congressman Kelly, who earned his BA and JD degrees here.
The University of Mississippi a very military-friendly campus — we serve more than 1,400 military-connected students. In February, we opened a Veterans Resource Center that’s dedicated to giving our veterans support, space to study, and a place to find a community based on shared military experience. I’m proud of the recognition we have received for how we support them. We’re an unlimited Yellow Ribbon school, which helps students with 100 percent VA benefits pay the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. Yellow Ribbon also provides full tuition to veterans who have served at least three years of active duty since 9/11. We offer special parking passes to recipients of the Purple Heart medal. And we have a very active Student Veterans Association, which provides resources, support, and advocacy, and fosters camaraderie.

We also have many educational programs geared toward preparing undergraduates who are interested in serving our government when they graduate. We are home to a distinctive program called the Croft Institute for International Studies. Many of our graduates from this program work in senior roles in government and industry. Topics of study include international politics, trade, national security, and other important issues facing our country.

We also have a Center for Intelligence and Security Studies, known as CISS, which prepares students for careers as intelligence analysts. It offers a minor that teaches critical thinking and briefing skills used by the 16 agencies that comprise the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Finally, we’re home to two Flagship Foreign Language Programs — one in Mandarin Chinese and another in Arabic. These are highly respected, federally funded language programs designed to fill areas of critical need for U.S. security. If you know your long-term career goal is to serve our country, these programs are worth your consideration.

Finally, I encourage you to come to back to Ole Miss for our November 3 game against South Carolina. It’s our military appreciation game, so we’ll have special events honoring our military branches. Our Student Veterans Association has a philanthropy called the Ole Miss Wish, which works with military families to grant wishes to children. Previously, they helped a patient at Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson have a very special day. At the South Carolina game, our Veterans Association will grant another Ole Miss wish. It’s going to be a very moving event. We’ll have several special events at kickoff and halftime to honor each branch of our Armed Forces. The game is also a great opportunity for you to feel the game day energy we’re famous for.

Thank you again for your time and best of luck with your future endeavors. Now, we’ll hear an introduction of special guests from Robert Smith, representative for Congress.