The Military and Veterans Resource Center (MAVRC) recently renovated its space on the first floor of the union. The center’s space was expanded to accommodate the growing number of students that are using the resources they provide. “Visitors began sitting on the floor or leaving altogether because there wasn’t enough space,” said Michael Kirchner, Director of the Military and Veterans Resource Center.
The idea for the renovations came about in late 2013 with formal planning beginning in the spring of 2014. Construction began over the past winter break, with the center opening early in the spring semester.
Funding for the project was obtained through fundraising and a $25,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.
Kirchner sees the MAVRC as a place where military and veteran students can grow as students and bond with others that have shared similar experiences. “In a similar manner to traditional students, military and veteran students who receive focused support are more likely to be retained and graduate,” said Kirchner. “Transitioning out of the military is difficult. Soldiers leave an incredibly regimented environment where they have grown and developed strong social networks. By having a full-time resource center on campus, we can always be there to serve as a first point of contact for current and prospective students.”
Clayton Liebherr, a senior English major and veteran, agrees with Kirchners view of the MAVRC. “Transitioning from active military duty to the collegiate experience wasn’t easy, but with the help that the MAVRC offered I was able to utilize the many opportunities UWM has to offer,” said Liebherr.
The MAVRC expects 3,000-4,000 walk throughs this semester alone.