Student Veterans of America hosts 11th Annual National Conference
Lauren Augustine moderates the Diversity & Inclusion General Session at NatCon 2019. (Photo: Robb Cohen Photography & Video)

Student veterans and supporters gather for the largest gathering of post-9/11 veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Student Veterans of America hosted their 11th annual National Conference, more commonly known as NatCon, last week at Disney Coronado Springs Resort. This year, we are pleased to announce that 2,306 student veterans, advocates, thought-leaders, stakeholders, and supporters in higher education came from all over the world to advance their knowledge and understanding of a wide range of topics relating to higher education and tomorrow’s leaders.

We had an incredible week and joined together as the largest single gathering of post-9/11 veterans and supporters in the nation to date,” said Jared Lyon, National President and CEO of SVA. “The incredible sponsors and supporters who joined us, led by title sponsor Raytheon, showed how important the growing student veteran community is to our nation and its future. I charged the attendees to now go home and take up the mantle of leadership on their campuses and in their communities and I’m confident we will see amazing things in 2019.”

Jared Lyon speaking at NatCon 2019. (Photo: Robb Cohen Photography & Video)

The finale of the three day gathering was on Saturday at the SVA Honors Awards —hosted for the third year by Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, USA’s Graceland and TNT’s ‘Last Ship’ star: Jamie Gray Hyder. The honorees represent the best of the community leading and supporting veterans in higher education and include:

  • SVA Partners in Excellence, Raytheon, Prudential, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Lumina Foundation, Hiring Our Heroes, and The George W. Bush Institute
  • Daniel J. Edelman Corporate Champion of The Year, The Walt Disney Company
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Distinguished Public Service Award, Jason Beardsley
  • Sonny Montgomery Student Veteran Champion Award, Congressman Jodey Arrington and Congressman Mark Takano
  • William Pearson Tolley Champion for Veterans in Higher Education, Dr. Tony Frank, President of Colorado State University and Chancellor of the Colorado State University System
  • SVA Chapter Advisor of the Year, Jeremiah Gunderson, University of Texas at Austin
  • SVA Chapter of the Year, Louisiana State University
  • SVA Student Veteran of the Year, Alexandria Sawin, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Jamie Gray Hyder and Jared Lyon stand with the Student Veteran of the Year finalists at NatCon 2019. (Photo: Robb Cohen Photography & Video)

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