The nation's largest gathering of student veterans took place January 5 - 7 in Anaheim, California.
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January 10, 2017
Contact: Barrett Y. Bogue, Vice President for Communications
For Immediate Release
Contact: 202-223-4710

SVA Showcases Academic Success and Empowers Tomorrow’s Leaders at 9th Annual National Conference

Honors given to leaders and community partners; employment resource and research findings announced.
Washington, D.C. – Student Veterans of America (SVA) concluded its 9th Annual National Conference in Anaheim, California on January 7, 2017 on a high note with a record number of attendees. On Friday, SVA President and CEO Mr. Jared Lyon announced the initial findings of the National Veteran Education Success Tracker (NVEST) as well as a new resource for those seeking meaningful employment. On Saturday, SVA honored distinguished student veterans as well as supporters during the SVA Honors Awards banquet.

Over 1,700 attendees from across the country convened for this year’s conference held at the Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Grand Californian. Attendees heard from General Session speakers like Mr. Bob McDonald, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Brian Duffy, Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and were even entertained by comedian Christopher Titus. SVA hosted 48 breakout sessions to educate attendees on topics ranging from supporting chapter services to empowering women veterans. 

“The theme of this year’s conference was empowering tomorrow’s leaders and nothing says that more than the experience our student veteran’s had at NatCon. They came here to learn, to network, and to better themselves through the transformative power of higher education.” said Mr. Jared Lyon, President and CEO.
SVA announced the winners of the 2017 SVA Honors awards including: 

  • SVA Student Veteran of the Year: Kate Tillotson (University of Tulsa)
  • SVA Chapter of the Year: Washington University Student Veteran Association (Washington University in St. Louis)
  • SVA Chapter Advisor of the Year: Ross Bryant (University of Nevada Las Vegas)
  • SVA Infrastructure Partner of the Year: The Home Depot Foundation
  • Campus Impact Partner of the Year: Prudential  
  • Research Partner of the Year (3): Lumina, Kresge, and Google 
  • Programmatic Partner of the Year (2): Accenture and Bank of America
  • Daniel J. Edelman Corporate Champion of the Year: Raytheon
  • Business Plan Competition Winner: Blue Hen Veterans (University of Delaware) 

SVA previewed the first results of NVEST to attendees. Completed in partnership with Department of Veterans Affairs and National Student Clearinghouse it represents the first research done on the academic outcomes of nearly one million student veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
“We know that student veterans are more likely to graduate and have a higher GPA than their peers. I’m excited about the opportunity to share the results of our research later this month and change the narrative around student veterans in higher education,” Mr. Lyon said.  
Attendees also networked with the most diverse collection of non-profit organizations, businesses, and institutions of higher education under one roof. The SVA Campus featured over 30 companies from more than a dozen industries, fifteen top institutions of higher education, and over a dozen non-profit partners. Companies such as Raytheon, Accenture, Microsoft, Prudential, Bank of America, Home Depot, and PwC were there not only to share opportunities with the talented pool of SVA members, but to also share in their professional development. 

The 9th Annual SVA National Conference concluded January 7, 2017 and will return in 2018. Click here for photos from NatCon2017.

Edit: This release was updated to include the correct spelling of an award winner.  

About Student Veterans of America
SVA is the country’s premier organization for student veterans. SVA supports all veterans through their transition from the military, educational advancement, and career growth. SVA represents a network of 1,400 chapters on campuses in all 50 states and four countries representing more than 550,000 student veterans at those colleges and universities. For more information, visit us at 
1012 14th Street NW
12th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005

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