Sandhills Community College has a passion for serving our veterans, military active duty, spouses, and dependents. So much so that the college recently opened a Veterans Center.
Located in the Katharine L. Boyd Library, The Luke Joseph Ryan Veterans Center is a private relaxing environment with a kitchenette, television, study areas and offices.
In recent years, the college has served approximately 350 students each year who utilize VA education benefits to take curriculum courses. This is quite an increase from the 100 the college assisted only eight years ago.
Those receiving veteran benefits are served by the Coordinator of Veterans Affairs Teresa Taylor and her Associate, Pat Jeffries. Lindsey Farmer is the college’s Director of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs.
Veteran students may be eligible for federal and/or state financial aid in addition to their education benefits. Sandhills is one of four NC community colleges to participate in the Veterans Administration’s Yellow Ribbon program, which assists qualifying veteran students with college funds to help with the cost of out-of-state tuition.
The VA Mobile Vet Center makes regular stops on the Sandhills campus as it travels throughout North Carolina. Through this mobile unit, veterans and dependents are assisted with many non-academic support services. The college is the only Moore County location the Mobile Center visits and all area veterans can avail themselves of services.
Each year the college has a free Veterans Day concert in Owens Auditorium. Student Life also honors veterans and dependents with a free breakfast and social prior to the holiday. Additionally, the college has a veteran student club.
A red, white and blue graduation cord is offered to veteran graduates.
The Luke Joseph Ryan Veterans Center
The Veterans Center at Sandhills is dedicated to the memory of Luke Joseph Ryan. Luke was a navy serviceman whose life and military career ended much too soon. The center honors his memory and serves as a tribute to the Ryan family tradition of military service that is representative of all five branches of the armed forces. Luke’s father, Luke Patrick Ryan, was a Navy SEAL. His grandfather, Colonel Robert J. Ryan, MD, was an Army surgeon who also served in the Marine Corps. All four of Luke’s uncles proudly served active duty in the US military.