Published on March 4th, 2021 | by University Communications


Student Veterans of America members attend virtual national convention

On February 19 and February 20, student-veterans from Saint Leo University attended the largest gathering of post-9/11 veterans in the country: the Student Veterans of America National Convention. Brianna Holman, president of the university’s chapter of SVA, learned from Dr. Luke McClees, director of the Office of Military Affairs and Services, that there were a limited number of free conference tickets, and she encouraged members to attend.

Twenty-one Saint Leo student-veterans attended the virtual conference. “This was the largest group from Saint Leo ever to attend the event,” McClees said. “It was vital to have students participate as students who have attended previous SVA conventions have received great educational and training opportunities,” he said.

Last year, several students gained the opportunity to find, try out for, and be selected for exclusive internships and make contacts with other student-veterans from all over the nation. “We wanted this year to be no different, even if the format of the conference format was different,” Holman said.

This year, students did not have to travel because the SVA National Convention was live-streamed session by session. The conference still allowed for participation in a high level of professional programming and networking in the virtual environment.

Saint Leo’s student-veterans enjoyed a direct session with Dr. Jill Biden. The first lady praised the student-veterans across the nation for their performance in higher education and beyond.

After the session, Holman shared a photo of this moment and experience with all of Saint Leo University on the LionsShare platform.

While not a typical annual conference for any of the Student Veterans of America participants, it was still a productive and meaningful experience, the students said.

For more information about Saint Leo’s chapter of Student Veterans of America, contact the Office of Military Affairs and Services at or call (352) 588-6703 or (352) 588-8234.


Photo: Brianna Holman, president of Saint Leo’s Student Veterans of America chapter, attends the SVA national convention session featuring first lady Jill Biden. 

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