Inaugural Veterans’ Gala
Friday, November 2, 2018, 6pm
Inn at Ole Miss
Good evening! I’m Jeff Vitter, and I have the honor of serving as the University of Mississippi’s chancellor. I’d also like to introduce my wife, Sharon, who’s here with me tonight.
It’s a pleasure to welcome you to our inaugural Veterans’ Gala. First, let me thank Andrew Newby for his passionate leadership and commitment to Veteran and Military Services at Ole Miss. Andrew, you’ve done a fantastic job tonight and in all of your efforts.
I’d also like to thank the Student Veterans Association for hosting tonight’s event. The Student Veterans Association is an invaluable part of our community and provides our veterans support, resources, and a venue to find and build camaraderie.
Let’s give them a big thank you!
Our commitment to veterans and military personnel is closely linked to our university’s values of integrity and respect. And I’m proud that we continue to strengthen that commitment. We serve more than 1,400 military-connected students. In February, we opened a Veterans Resource Center. And, we are recognized for our commitment to our Veterans by Military Times among the top colleges in its “Best for Vets” rankings for 2019. We’re truly proud of the ways Ole Miss is defining itself as a military-friend university.
Finally, let me take quick a moment to recognize the leaders and elected officials who are with us this evening:
- United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie;
- United States Senator Roger Wicker;
- United States Representative Trent Kelly — Congressman Kelly also serves as a Brigadier General in the Mississippi Army National Guard;
- Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant;
- The Adjutant General for Mississippi, Major General Janson Boyles;
- Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees President, Shane Hooper;
- The Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs, Randy Reeves;
- Mississippi Representative Jay Hughes; and
- Guest of Honor and keynote speaker, Will Jimeno.
Before I turn it back to Andrew, I want to say how much we appreciate all of you for joining us and sharing your time this evening. Thank you!