Columbia College and Veterans United Foundation officials announced Friday that the foundation has made an influential $25,000 gift to the college. The contribution will benefit the Brig. Gen. Charles E. McGee House, home of the Ousley Family Veterans Center, and formally names the Veterans United Foundation Patio. This is one of the largest gifts the college has received in support of the new facility.

This space will serve as a hub to host programming and further build camaraderie in the college’s military student community. The college served 6,500 military-connected students in 2019 and 18 of its 36 locations around the country are on military installations.


Veterans United Foundation check
Columbia College Acting President Dr. David Russell, left, accepts a $25,000 check from Veterans United officials Friday afternoon at the McGee House.

“On behalf of our entire college family, I would like to thank the Veterans United Foundation for this generous gift that will benefit our students for generations to come,” said Columbia College Acting President Dr. David Russell. “Whether it be the dream of buying a new home or the desire to help veterans earn a degree, Columbia College and Veterans United share the common goal of serving the men and women of the United States Armed Forces at the highest level every day.”

The Veterans United Foundation was established in 2011 in order to give back to the community, and is entirely supported by Veterans United and its employees, with over 90% pledging one percent of their paycheck to the foundation. Since its creation, the foundation has raised more than $60 million.

“We are very pleased to take this opportunity to support Columbia College in their efforts to honor an American hero such as Brig. Gen. Charles McGee,” said Brian Nelson, a Veterans United staff member and a 2015 Columbia College alumnus. “By expanding the McGee House, Columbia College can improve the lives of veterans and military-connected students.”

Veterans United is the No. 1 employer of CC alumni with 234 graduates working for the company. The two entities have partnered on other initiatives since 2017. Through the current partnership, Veterans United offers Columbia College students, faculty and staff veterans the opportunity to utilize the company’s Home Buyer Select Program, which offers savings on the total amount of their home loan. Columbia College is also offering a tuition discount to Veterans United’s borrowers, employees and their spouses.

Veterans United Home Loans was founded in 2002 in Columbia, Missouri, and has grown into the nation’s largest VA lender, helping approximately 87,000 veterans use their VA home loan benefits. Veterans United financed approximately $23.2 billion in loans in fiscal year 2020 alone.

Founded in 1851 in Columbia, Missouri, Columbia College has helped students advance their lives through higher education for nearly 170 years. As a private, nonprofit, liberal arts and sciences institution, the college takes pride in its small classes, experienced faculty and quality educational programs. The college, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, has more than 30 locations and offers day, evening and online classes. Columbia College educates thousands of students each year and has more than 94,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit