The Calvin C. McKee Student Veterans Center at The University of Tulsa was initially funded by a Vet Center Initiative Grant, awarded by The Home Depot Foundation, along with Student Veterans of America. With the award totaling $8,948 for the renovation, TU became one of 50 colleges/universities to receive this specific grant.
TU’s Student Veteran Center moved from Fisher Hall to Norman Village Apartments after the receipt of the Vet Center Initiative Grant. The space was renovated to become a lounge, meeting area and study space for veterans on campus. The center is home to the TU Student Veterans Association and was formally opened during Veterans Day celebrations in 2016.
The lounge, often referred to as the Vet House, is now named in honor of Calvin C. McKee, after his life-long mentee and brother-in-law Thomas Russell, and wife, established an endowment for student-veterans. While both men have been recognized as TU Distinguished Alumni and both have rich backgrounds in the oil and natural gas industry, Russell wanted to honor McKee for the military efforts in which he was involved.
McKee served as a member of the Office of Strategic Services (the precursor to modern day CIA) during World War II becoming one of the United States’ first paratroopers. He served in the U.S. armed forces from WWII through the end of the Korean War. During McKee’s life, he was awarded the French Legion of Honor and the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor for his valiant service to the United States of America.
Renovations to the center, which started out as a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Norman Village, have occurred over the past three years. The renovations included updated flooring, a larger patio with outdoor furniture, updated paint, and a fully furnished/updated kitchen. Thanks to corporate partner Phillips66, there is also a computer lab with dual monitor setups, printers, and desks.
If you would like to contact the McKee Student Veterans Center, please email McKeeVeteransSuccessCenter@utulsa.edu.
Read more about Russell or McKee here.