OUR Clemson; Student Affairs

Clemson University joins growing South Carolina Veteran Coalition


Members of the Clemson Military and Veteran Engagement community attend a ceremonial signing for the Combined Arms coalition with SC Department of Veterans' Affairs
Lt. Col. Charlie Hall of Upstate Warrior Solution speaks during the ceremonial MOU signing for the South Carolina Veteran Coalition.
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CLEMSON, SC (SCDVA) — Clemson University is the latest higher education institution to join the growing list of Upstate partners within the South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs (SCDVA) Veteran Coalition to ensure veterans are aware and have access to much needed resources for education, career development and military transition assistance.

Clemson University’s Military and Veteran Engagement joins the coalition as education partners along with Clemson Extension joining as training and resource navigation partners. Clemson University’s Military and Veteran Engagement program serves more than 1,100 student veterans, service members and military-connected students by assisting them through development of key campus connections and resources available to aid their respective journeys. Clemson offers a Military and Veteran Engagement Resource Center, military tutoring resources, military scholarships and residency and access to VA educational benefits.

“Joining the South Carolina Veteran Coalition reinforces our university’s level of commitment to Veterans,” says Director of Military and Veteran Engagement Emily DaBruzzi. “Our office is excited to offer additional opportunities and tailored assistance to Veterans who want to connect and learn more about attending Clemson University. We look forward to providing early support while Veterans are considering Clemson and continuing that support through the admissions process and during the transition to campus via the Combined Arms platform.”  

Dr. Michelle Parisi, Extension Division Director for Health, Nutrition and Youth Development stated, “Clemson Cooperative Extension will partner with the coalition to create a multidirectional referral pathway. Through this partnership, we will be able to serve Veterans across the state, connecting them with health, workforce training, education, farming, and social service resources. Extension agents alongside SCDVA Pathfinders will create a safety net of support for SC Veterans, ensuring a safe and productive transition back into civilian life.”  

David Rozelle, SCDVA’s Director of Operations, has developed a close relationship with leaders at Clemson University, acknowledging the critical resources Clemson offers to military students and service members seeking educational and career assistance.

Clemson representatives Emily DaBruzzi (left) and Kimberly Poole (right) with Paulette Dunn of the South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs at the ceremonial signing of the Veteran Coalition on April 12.

“When we started working on building our South Carolina Veteran Coalition, we knew that our universities were going to be a key to success, as they have so many Veterans enrolled as students and working as employees,” says Rozelle. “Clemson has a goal to be the most Veteran Friendly University in South Carolina, and this partnership is allowing them to get one step closer. We are proud to partner with Clemson, as it houses so many programs that are inclusive of Military and their families.”

About the South Carolina Veteran Coalition

The South Carolina Veteran Coalition (powered by Combined Arms) is comprised of SCDVA leaders, nonprofits, Veteran Service Organizations and County Veterans Affairs’ Officers joining together to help improve care, connect Veterans, Veteran Spouses, and their family members to resources in the state of South Carolina.

According to the 2022 Economic Impact of South Carolina’s Military Community report commissioned by SCDVA, the Upstate has a population of more than 94,000 Veterans, and an annual economic impact of approximately 3-billion dollars.

While the economic outlook to the community is strong, our transitioning Veterans struggle. According to Pew Research, about half of post-9/11 Veterans reported the transition to civilian life was difficult and they struggled to pay their bills.  Lack of affordable housing, underemployment, emergency financial assistance, food insecurity and family issues are amongst the issues that the Coalition is addressing.