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MC Earns Military Friendly© Designation for Extraordinary Academic Service to Armed Forces Community

Thian Sumrall chose to attend Mississippi College, a Military Friendly© School, in part because of its family-friendly values.
Thian Sumrall chose to attend Mississippi College, a Military Friendly© School, in part because of its family-friendly values.

While serving in the Air Force, Thian Sumrall enjoyed traveling, making friends from all across the U.S., and experiencing different cultures. When the Byram native retired from the military, he and his family decided to return to the Jackson area, where he could pursue an undergraduate degree in mathematics.

Sumrall said Mississippi College provided the perfect place for him to pursue his post-military academic career.

“I chose MC because of its proximity to home and its family-friendly values,” Sumrall said. “I had heard fantastic things about its math department. So far, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here because of the dedication of the faculty to their profession and the friendly nature of everyone I’ve come in contact with.

“The veteran services office has been extremely helpful regarding G.I. Bill usage, services available to veterans, and questions regarding life at MC. MC is dedicated to making military members and veterans’ experience as positive as possible.”

For its continuing commitment to students who have served or are serving in the armed forces and their family members, Mississippi College has been designated a Military Friendly© School for the 2023-24 Military Friendly© Cycle. The Military Friendly© Program has awarded this designation to MC several times since the program was founded in 2003.

According to its website, “Military Friendly© Schools strive towards and succeed in the areas that matter most in helping veterans make the transition from the military to school and, ultimately, satisfying careers in the civilian world.” That’s particularly true at MC: military members can be found among the student body of virtually every undergraduate school, graduate program, and the MC School of Law.

Allen Barbour of Jackson joined the Mississippi Army National Guard and received his baccalaureate in political science from Mississippi State University with a minor in pre-law. A UIH-60 repairer, he is qualified as a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist.

When he decided to pursue a law degree, Barbour chose MC Law.

“MC has been accommodating to my military service,” he said. “This summer, I left to train with the Army for 10 weeks to become a Blackhawk mechanic. This training spilled into the first week of my final fall semester.

“My professors accommodated my absence and offered me help upon my return. This is just one of the many times MC Law has accommodated my military service.”

Barbour said MC is deserving of the Military Friendly© designation.

“The faculty work hard for all students, but they go above and beyond to assist both active, retired, and family of military,” he said. “This institution has assisted me with my post-911 G.I. Bill when I was having trouble and has worked overtime to ensure that my education did not get affected when my obligations to the military came calling.”

Teresa Hill, director of military and veteran student services in the Office of the Registrar, said the institution strives to provide the highest-quality education for the military community and its entire student body.

“We are proud to be named a Military Friendly© School,” Hill said. “Mississippi College was first recognized by the Military Advanced Education Guide in 2013. We are honored to continue that recognition this year while serving this amazing population. Our goal is to continue moving forward and to improve upon where we are.

“The Military Friendly© Survey is a valuable tool that gauges where an institution stands with regard to serving its military population. It can reveal ways a school can improve how it serves active service members, their dependents, and their spouses. It acts like a compass that can project the direction you desire to go.”

She said students have a myriad of choices when determining their higher education path, so being named a Military Friendly© School distinguishes Mississippi College from other universities.

“When considering institutions that recognize a heart for service as being fundamental and instrumental to your life’s pursuit, career, and mission, Mississippi College is a seamless fit for those who have already demonstrated this desire in their lives or have supported loved ones in this capacity,” she said.

Brittany Bradley, a carpentry/masonry specialist in the Mississippi Army National Guard, appreciates the flexible schedule that MC offers members of the military.

“This ensures I am able to succeed in everything I do,” the senior art education major from Southaven said. “The faculty work with you to set you up for success. They have been very understanding of my duty as a soldier and work with me to ensure that I have things in place to keep me on pace with my classes without falling behind. Failure is not an option.

“MC is an enjoyable experience. It deserves to be named a Military Friendly© School because of its accommodations for students who are actively serving in the military.”

MC’s military population consists of active military, veterans, reservists, dependents of veterans, spouses, and ROTC members. A military career can begin for students at MC as undergraduates with Army or Air Force ROTC, which results in being commissioned into active service as second lieutenant officers. The Mississippi National Guard also has an officer commissioning program for members who have 90 hours of completed coursework.

Individuals with active or reservist military status are eligible for a reduced military rate and other potential educational benefits that can support them as on-campus, commuter, or online students.

“MC supports our veteran population, dependents, and spouses by facilitating the benefits they have earned during their time of service,” Hill said. “It is our honor to serve those who have given so much.”

Veterans can transfer unused educational benefits to their dependents and spouses for their use at Mississippi College. Veterans who are 100-percent disabled may be eligible to receive additional educational benefits for themselves and their dependents or spouses.

For more information about attending Mississippi College as a member of the military community, email Hill at