LUBBOCK, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Texas Tech University Health and Sciences Center announced that for the first time ever, the University has received a Veterans Education Excellence Recognition Award (VEERA) from the Texas Veterans Commission.

“Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is honored to serve our veteran students by providing an academic community to support them in their success and future careers in health care,” said Lori Rice-Spearman, TTUHSC President. “Congratulations to our Veterans Resource Center team and Student Affairs for their work and this well-deserved recognition.”

According to the news release, the Texas State Legislature established the VEERA program to recognize public colleges’ and universities’ excellence in providing education and related services to veterans and the military-connected community.

In the selection process, the Texas Veterans Commission evaluated the criteria of TTUHSC’s military-connected population, Veterans Resource Center, points of contact for military-connected students, participation in the VA work-study program, student support services, and faculty and staff training.

Sara Henly, Director of the TTUHSC Veterans Resource Center and a veteran herself, explained what this award means to TTUHSC and how her experience as a veteran helps with her current role.

“Distinctions like this show how far we have come as an institution and how we are advocating for our students,” Henly said. “As a veteran, I am able to build that trust with our military-connected students, and they can believe that when I advise them on something, it’s in their best academic and professional interest.”

TTUHSC said it will receive the VEERA honor on Oct. 23 at the Texas A&M University System Military-Affiliated Symposium.

For the latest Amarillo news and regional updates, check with and tune in to KAMR Local 4 News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 p.m. and Fox 14 News at 9:00 p.m. CST.