David K. Hughes, assistant dean of students and director of the Yellow Ribbon Program at Lipscomb University, was recently appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen to serve on the Governor’s Council on Service Members, Veterans & Their Families.
Hughes is among 17 appointees selected from across the state to serve on the newly established Council which consists of 25 members.
“The state of Tennessee is very fortunate to have citizens like these men and women who are willing to serve the state through its boards and commissions,” Bredesen said. “They will be valuable additions to the respective boards they have been appointed to represent, and I appreciate their commitment and willingness to serve.”
The Council is charged with facilitating collaboration and coordination of federal, state and local organizations and representatives to strengthen the system of care for service members, veterans and their families. The Council will also collaborate with veterans service and advocacy organizations that address unique challenges faced by the veteran population in Tennessee including mental illness, traumatic brain injury and physical injury in addition to challenges in the areas of employment, housing and education.
Hughes, who was appointed to his post at Lipscomb in April 2009, works as an advocate for all veterans who enroll at Lipscomb University as part of the university’s Yellow Ribbon Enhancement Program and ensures quality and efficient navigation of the undergraduate education process. An active member of the military for more than ten years, Hughes is a retired captain who served with United States Army Special Forces in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Hughes is a member of the board of directors for Operation Stand Down Nashville and the Tennessee Fisher House Foundation.
In 2009, the Post-9/11 GI Bill was established as an education benefit program for individuals who served on active duty after Sept. 11, 2001. It is administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Based on a veteran’s length of service, he or she may be eligible to receive the cost of tuition and fees, not to exceed the most expensive in-state institution of higher education. For veterans who qualify for 100 percent of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Lipscomb University has committed to allocate the necessary funds to allow them to earn a tuition-free undergraduate degree through the Yellow Ribbon Enhancement Program. Also, the following master’s programs are offered tuition-free: accounting, business (evening MBA), counseling, psychology, education, exercise and nutrition science and theology. Other graduate degrees are offered at a greatly reduced tuition rate in conflict management, human resources, sustainable practice and the professional MBA. This fall, 65 veterans are obtaining a tuition-free Lipscomb education through the Yellow Ribbon Enhancement Program.