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Veterans and Military Services

Veterans in Society Conference

Join the USC Press and Department of Veterans and Military Affairs for the 2024 VIS Conference: Tidal Changes in the Sea of Goodwill. We’re excited to host you in Columbia from March 14-15, 2024 (Half-Day Thursday March 14 and Full-Day Friday March 15).

Image of Gervais Street Bridge with text "2024 Veterans in Society Conference: Tidal Changes in the Sea of Goodwill March 14-15, 2024" Sponsored by SC press, Vet and Military Affairs, and the VSA

Conference Location

We’ll be gathering in the University Conference Center on the University of South Carolina campus, which is the 8th floor of the Close-Hipp building at 1705 College St.

Lodging

A room block has been secured at the Graduate Columbia. Reserve your room online before Feb. 22, 2024. 

Check in: 4 p.m., March 14, 2024
Check out: 11 a.m., March 16, 2024

The Graduate is located at 1619 Pendleton St., which is less than a block from the University Conference Center.

Travel

The closest airport is Columbia Metropolitan (CAE), 15 minutes from campus. 

Schedule

Barringer Gardens @ USC Alumni House

  • 2-4 p.m. - VSA Volunteering Event & Works-in-Progress Workshop (by invitation only)
  • 4-5 p.m. - Registration & Welcome Reception with Exhibitors (hors d'oeuvre provided)
  • 5-6 p.m. - Welcome Address & Keynote Speaker: Todd McCaffrey, "The Thriving Veterans Among Us -- Evolving the Narrative"
  • 6-7 p.m. - Group Tour of USC Anne Frank Center
  • 7-9 p.m. - New Attendee Meetup @ Restaurant TBD

USC Conference Center

  • 6:30-7:15 a.m. - VSA Group Run/Walk @ Graduate Columbia Hotel
  • 8–8:30 a.m. - Registration & Exhibitor Hall (breakfast provided)
  • 8:45-8:55 a.m. - VSA Opening Remarks
  • 9-11:20 a.m. - Concurrent Sessions
  • 11:20-12:20 p.m. - Keynote Speaker: Mary Whyte, "The Art of Veterans: How a 7 Year Secret Journey Became a Mission"
  • 12:20-1:30 p.m. - VSA Awards Presentation & Exhibitor Hall (lunch provided)
  • 1:30-4:45 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions
  • 4:50-5:00 p.m. - VSA Closing Remarks

Detailed Conference Program

View the Detailed Conference Program.

Keynote Speakers

Image of Todd McCaffrey

Major General (Retired) Todd McCaffrey, South Carolina Secretary of Veteran's Affairs
Major General (Ret) Todd McCaffrey is South Carolina’s Secretary of Veteran Affairs where he advocates for and supports nearly 400,000 Veterans and 68,000 uniformed servicemembers who call the state home.  Prior to joining state government he served more than 34 years in the U.S. Army where he commanded units through division level and led both an infantry battalion and brigade in combat.  Secretary McCaffrey is a 1986 graduate of the US Military Academy and holds master’s degrees in economics and national security studies. He and his wife Lisa reside in Columbia and have three adult children, a daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter.

Image of Mary Whyte

Mary Whyte
Mary Whyte (b.1953) is an American figurative artist known internationally for her watercolors of contemporary people. Her works are in private, corporate, university and public collections nationwide, and have been featured in numerous media outlets including CBS Sunday Morning, PBS and NPR. The author of seven books including We the People: Portraits of Veterans in America, Whyte’s work has also been featured in many international publications, including periodicals and books in China, Russia, France, Germany, Canada and Taiwan. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Portrait Society of America’s Gold Medal, the Carolinas Freedom Foundation’s Freedom Award, and the South Carolina Governor’s Award for the Arts, South Carolina’s highest honor in the arts.

Host committee and contact information

Michael McGandy
803-777-2243
mcgandy@mailbox.sc.edu 

Katherine Progler
803-777-5156
kcupp@mailbox.sc.edu 

Hilary Brannon
803-777-9444
dyer@sc.edu 

Resources

Register for the conference!

Things to do in Columbia: Experience Columbia SC

Learn more about:

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Sponsorship opportunities are available at levels from $250 and up. (A sheet with complete details is available.) Sponsors will have the attention of more than 200 conference attendees, and benefits include advertising space, logo placement, complimentary registration, and speaking opportunities at ViS 2024. January 19, 2024, is the deadline for becoming a sponsor.

Exhibitors will be able to share information about their organization with and sell their products to more than 200 conference attendees. Space is available for $250 for a display table. (Full details of the benefits of exhibiting at ViS 2024 are available.) January 19, 2024, is the deadline for securing space in the exhibit hall.

Advertising opportunities are included in the benefits for sponsors and exhibitors.

For more information regarding sponsoring and exhibiting at ViS 2024, contact Michael McGandy, 803-777-2243
mcgandy@mailbox.sc.edu


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