Several veterans with Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass (BPBG) presented the EKU Office of Military and Veterans Affairs and student veterans with a $4,000 check to help the group furnish the new veterans center and lounge in the Powell Building.

The veterans office is currently located in the Burnam House on Lancaster Avenue, but upon completion of renovations taking place in Powell, the award-winning veterans group will occupy space there.

The presentation was done in the renovated room inside the upstairs of the Powell Building to show where their new home would be.

Director of the OMVA Barbara Kent spoke first, thanking them for being a continuous supporter of EKU and their student veterans.

"I am, on behalf of our student veterans, so grateful, but I have to recognize that a lot of folks say, 'We support veterans, we are military friendly,' but you (BPBG) truly put your money where your mouth is," she said. "Just know this is going to have a tremendous impact. This is generous gift for what is our guiding mission that gets us up every day, and that is the academic success and the achievement of goals for our student veterans so they can be successful inside and outside of the classroom and beyond."

She said the fact that the check was presented by veterans who work at BPBG to the student veterans made the donation more special and remarkable.

"Again we are so appreciative," Kent said. "So thank you."

The BPBG Project Human Resources Manager Rosalind Torrence said what made the biggest impression to BPBG from the OMVA was the commitment and enthusiasm to veterans.

"We have a vested interest, and we have a responsibility to say, 'Hey, we are neighbors here in this community, and we are here to support each other,'" Torrence said. "We see the need that is there, we see there is an opportunity for us at the Bluegrass facility to help meet our mission. What better way to do that than not to just say, 'We support you,' but how can we do that?"

She said the group's goal was to go beyond the check, although they know the check is important.

"We want to say, 'Thank you.' We want to thank you for commitment, and we want to thank you for your enthusiasm and for this relationship to continue," she said.

"We are going to be spending a lot of time together, trust me," Kent laughed.

The new 3,000 square foot space dedicated to the veterans of EKU is set to officially open in the late spring. Kent said the large amount of space is "unparalleled in the commonwealth as well as the nation."

For more information about the OMVA, visit va.eku.edu/ or contact 859-622-2345.

Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter @TaylorSixRR.

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