September 21, 2023

Mere steps from the main entrance to Manchester Community College sits a welcoming reprieve for the school’s Veteran students. For ten years, MCC has offered a Veterans Center for those who have served our country and are now on a new mission to advance their education.

Today the Center has a new look and feel thanks to the generous donation of time and resources from the Red River Charitable Foundation and Financial Strategies Retirement Partners to help fully renovate this dedicated space for veterans and their families. Several volunteers from both Red River and Financial Strategies Retirement Partners spent the summer months transforming the space into its new look. The Center received a complete overhaul, with all new furniture, new amenities like a coffee bar, office supplies and a printer station, and adorning the main wall of the center are the insignias of every major branch of our nation’s military.

“I have already begun doing my homework at the Center, and the amenities are incredibly convenient,” explains Darrell Caudill, MCC Advanced Manufacturing student, Retired Navy Veteran and President of the Veterans Club. “There’s a major buzz among our Veteran students about this space. I have been hearing a lot of great ideas for fellowship activities and hosting community partners that offer resources and support services that help with the many challenges that Veterans face.”

MCC’s Veterans Center opened in 2013, thanks to a generous donation from Home Depot, under leadership of Terry Chisholm. Earlier this year, the college approached Red River Charitable Foundation to inquire about helping to finance and fund a renovation of the center and the company stepped up almost immediately with resources and manpower.

“When we were presented with this opportunity to update the MCC Veterans Center, it was really a no brainer,” explains Kim Vacca, Director for the Red River Charitable Foundation. “The project aligns with our Foundation’s mission and provided an opportunity to not only provide financial resources but to also roll up our sleeves and volunteer. From our first conversation to the last brush stroke, the project was a great experience for our employees.”

Finishing touches were completed just as school opened for the 2023 Fall Semester.

“I can’t think of a better way to serve this very special core group of students than with an updated space to help them focus their energy on advancing their education,” says Kristen Butterfield-Ferrell, Student Support Counselor. “One Veteran, who is studying nursing, commented on how useful the standing desks will be for comfort while studying, provide pain relief from sitting in lectures. That is exactly the type of assistance we were aiming for with the renovation.”