Category Logo

South College earns Minuteman Award from Tennessee National Guard

January 30, 2020

In honor of its continued commitment to assist military students under the Tennessee STRONG Act, South College has earned a Minuteman Award from the Tennessee National Guard.

The STRONG Act, which stands for Support, Training, and Renewing Opportunity for National Guardsmen, provides eligible members of the Tennessee National Guard tuition funding towards a first-time bachelor’s degree through a reimbursement program.

“Creating an environment where our military members can continue their education through the Tennessee STRONG Act is a priority for South College,” said Steve South, chancellor of South College. “This recognition from the Tennessee National Guard is an honor for our educational institution. Our goal is to provide a seamless transition from military service to the classroom, and we are honored to serve these students to help equip them to meet their educational and career goals.”

Major Mike Smith, commander of the Alpha Company Recruiting Battalion in Knoxville, was among members of the Tennessee National Guard in attendance Tuesday, Jan. 28, at an award ceremony at South College’s Parkside Campus in Knoxville.

Smith and Staff Sgt. (SSG) Joseph Baydoun presented the award, which has a bronze minuteman on a wooden base, to Steve South. The award recognizes South College for removing obstacles for military students to enroll for the next term while waiting for Tennessee STRONG funds to clear balances due from the prior term.

“South College is a strong partner providing access to education for Tennessee STRONG Act recipients, who otherwise could not continue their education,” Smith said. “Veterans have been allowed to continue their education seamlessly as students, and we thank and recognize South College for its willingness to support the members of the Tennessee National Guard.”

Currently, 10 Tennessee STRONG Act students are enrolled in the winter term at South College. Overall, 400 military-related students are enrolled at South College across all five campuses in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia and online.

South College Chancellor Steve South, second from left, accepts the Minuteman Award from Major Mike Smith of the Tennessee National Guard at a ceremony at South College’s Parkside Campus on Jan. 28. The award acknowledges the college’s support of military students through participation in the Tennessee STRONG (Support, Training, and Renewing Opportunity for National Guardsmen) Act. Also participating in the ceremony were Staff Sgt. (SSG) Joseph Baydoun, left, and Dr. Carol Colvin, right, vice president of financial aid for South College.

South College also has earned accolades for its support of those who serve in the armed forces, including receiving Military Friendly® School designation since 2016 and being listed among the Top 10 Military Friendly Schools in the country in 2019-20.

The institution also offers the South College Military Grant program, which provides tuition benefits to veterans and spouses of veterans with honorable discharge status; active duty military and spouses; and dependents who are eligible for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs educational benefits.

To learn more about South College’s academic programs and financial assistance, visit

About South College

South College is a private institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award degrees at the doctorate, educational specialist, master’s, baccalaureate, and associate levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of South College. For more information, visit