Military Students Connect Through Student Veteran Organization

Maryville SVO will hold its first meeting from 4–5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, at LJ’s, in Donius University Center.

by Constance Gibbs

Military students attending Maryville University can connect with fellow student veterans and their dependents through the newly established Student Veteran Organization (SVO).

The group will meet monthly to provide a space for fellowship and to assist students as they transition to college life, says Joel Lydon, SVO president.

Lydon enrolled at Maryville just after his Army service ended.

“It was a tough transition because I was a lot older and had a lot more life experience than most of the students in my classes,” he says. Though he received support from his life coach and faculty members, Lydon saw the need for support from other student veterans who had already successfully transitioned.

After meeting with Maryville’s veteran services specialist, Thomas Wolff, and veteran Victor Kizer, assistant professor of exercise science, Lydon realized he was not alone.

“We talked about how helpful it would be to have a place for student veterans to meet, talk with one another and help each other out,” Lydon says. As a result, Maryville University SVO was created.

The founding members completed official student organization registration with the Center for Student Engagement this fall and created a Facebook page and email address to promote events and encourage discussion. Wolff serves as the group’s advisor.

In addition to holding meetings on campus, the group plans to host get-togethers throughout the St. Louis area so that friends and family members can participate, says Liz Ewert, SVO board member. Future plans also include offering campus tours led by SVO members for prospective student veterans and creating a peer mentoring program.

Maryville SVO will hold its first meeting from 4–5 p.m. on Friday, November 16, at LJ’s, located in the Donius University Center. All military students are welcome to attend.

For more information about the Maryville University Student Veteran Organization, visit Facebook or email

For more information about Maryville University veterans services and how Maryville can help active duty service members, veterans, reservists, guardsmen and dependents complete their higher education journeys, visit or email veteran services specialist Thomas Wolff at

To watch Maryville SVO’s 2018 Veteran’s Day ceremony, click below. Maryville SVO was proud to host the Scott Air Force Base Honor Guard for this special presentation of arms. 

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