Affirming its longstanding commitment to providing quality higher education and support services to military veterans and their families, the Midlands Technical College (MTC) Commission signed an agreement designating MTC as a Purple Heart College.
“The Commission strongly believes it is appropriate for the college to outwardly demonstrate our commitment to members of the Armed Services, especially those who have received the Purple Heart,” said MTC Commission Chair Margaret Holmes. “It is in tribute to their dedication, service, and sacrifice that we officially sign this resolution designating MTC as a Purple Heart College.”
The Purple Heart is the nation’s oldest military award, introduced as the “Badge of Military Merit” by General George Washington in 1782. It is awarded to those who are wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces.
“We salute our student soldiers and veterans and are honored to be designated as a Purple Heart College,” said MTC President Ronald L. Rhames. “At MTC, we recognize the importance of providing higher education and support services to military families and veterans.”
Also attending the ceremony with Rhames and other MTC Commissioners was the Commanding General of Ft. Jackson, Brigadier General Milford Beagle, and the Commander for the South Carolina Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Carl Lopez.
“This is a tremendous honor,” said General Beagle. “By giving those who have earned the Purple Heart this special admiration and respect, Midlands Technical College clearly demonstrates a level of caring and understanding as it strives to meet the needs of the entire community. No other institution is more deserving of this designation than Midlands Technical College. MTC is based on the continual pursuit of excellence and the continual desire to take care of the whole community.”
Lopez said he is thankful the college is spreading awareness of the Purple Heart.
“This is an honor to the memory of those veterans and soldiers who have sacrificed so we could live in the land of the free,” Lopez said. “When any student walks through the college’s doors, they will remember the lifestyle they have today has been paid for.”
Rhames said the Purple Heart designation is the latest of a variety of agreements, programs, and services MTC has put in place to serve soldiers, their families, and local veterans. Earlier this year, MTC signed an agreement to award college credits to soldiers training at the US Army Financial Management School on Fort Jackson. Credits soldiers earn from their military training will apply toward an associate degree or certificate in accounting from MTC.
“Our partnership with the local military community runs deep,” said Rhames. “For more than 30 years, MTC has provided an Education Office at Fort Jackson, and offers on-post courses to active duty military personnel, their families, and the fort’s civilian workforce.”
In addition to offering courses to active members of the military and their families, MTC is the largest provider of veterans’ educational benefits in South Carolina. Military Times selected MTC as a “Best College for Veterans” for 2019. MTC was the only two-year college in South Carolina to receive this designation.
“All of MTC’s academic degrees, diplomas, and certificates, and many Corporate and Continuing Education programs are approved for veterans’ educational benefits,” said Rhames. “MTC established a Veterans Success Center to assist military personnel and their families’ transition into higher education.”
Midlands Technical College also has a robust Student Veterans Organization and is the only college in South Carolina to be designated as a VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
“Today we are here to celebrate the college’s Purple Heart designation,” said Rhames. “But every day we celebrate the importance of providing higher education and support services to veterans and military families.”
For more information on military and veterans benefits<https://www.midlandstech.edu/student-resources/veterans-benefits> at MTC, visit MIDLANDSTECH.EDU
Photo: MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames and MTC Commission Chair Margaret Holmes celebrate the college’s Purple Heart College designation with active and retired members of the military community.