ATLANTA/MACON – Mercer University Director of Center Operations and retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Scott Mahone was recently named one of 19 inaugural Veteran Champions of the Year in Higher Education by G.I. Jobs® magazine.

G.I. Jobs® created the honor to recognize those who advocate for the advancement of America’s veterans and military students in higher education by seeking to enable their success at colleges, universities and vocational schools. The honorees’ efforts improve the recruitment, enrollment, matriculation, retention, graduation and job placement of veterans while seeking to bridge the cultural gap between veterans and civilian students.

“There may not exist anywhere a more qualified, more deserving individual for this award than Scott Mahone,” said Dr. Penny L. Elkins, senior vice president for enrollment management at Mercer. “Following more than 26 years of global military service in the United States Army, Lt. Col. Mahone has made it his mission to serve his fellow Americans in a different way – with more than 16 years of direct service to our students here at Mercer.”

Mahone oversees operations at the University’s regional academic centers in Douglas County and Henry County and at evening student support centers on the Atlanta and Macon campuses. These locations primarily serve busy and working adult students, many of whom are military-connected individuals, including active-duty military, veterans, or spouses and dependents.

Mahone serves as the official primary point of contact for all military and veteran recruitment, assisting individuals in the University enrollment process and accessing their military educational benefits. He is responsible for developing an annual strategic plan in support of recruitment, enrollment, retention and graduation of military-connected students. Under his leadership, the University experienced record year-over-year enrollment of military-connected students for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Mahone also leads military-connected service initiatives at the University, including partnering with the U.S. Marine Corps in support of Operation Christmas: Toys for Tots and coordinating participation in the Georgia Veterans Day Association parade, in which Mercer’s ROTC Bear Battalion won “Best Marching Unit” in 2020. Under his leadership, Mercer was named Georgia’s first Purple Heart University by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, received the “Best for Vets” designation from both U.S. News & World Report and Military Times, and earned recognition as a Top 10 Gold Military Friendly School by Military Friendly®.

G.I. Jobs shines a spotlight on the higher education programs that best connect the military community to civilian employment opportunities. But without people like the 19 champions honored this year, the execution of these programs and services at individual schools never happens. I am so grateful for these 19 leaders for their role in helping America’s veterans thrive in higher education,” said Chris Hale, CEO of VIQTORY®, the veteran-owned business that owns and operates G.I. Jobs.  

Prior to his military retirement in 2004, Mahone served 26 years in a variety of high-profile, high-impact command and staff assignments in 15 countries during times of peace and war.

He was personally selected by the U.S. Secretary of Defense as a professor and lecturer of defense resources management at the Defense Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and handpicked by former Secretary of State Colin Powell as an executive officer in the Resources Management Directorate, U.S. Forces Command, at Fort McPherson, Georgia.

Mahone served as an award-winning lecturer and instructor of defense resources management, planning, programming and budgeting at the Defense Resources Management Institute, School of International Graduate Studies, Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California; U.S. Central Command lead instructor and program coordinator for international financial management seminars in East Africa, Southwest Asia and the Middle East; guest lecturer at the Western Hemispheric Institute of Security Cooperation at Fort Benning, Georgia; and subject matter expert in the Department of Defense International Military Education and Training Programs.

His awards include the Department of Defense Legion of Merit Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two times), U.S. Army’s Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (two times), Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Medal, National Defense Service Medal (two times), Humanitarian Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon (two times), and German Armed Forces Badges of Marksmanship (Schutzenschner) Gold and Silver Medals.

Mahone earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and investment analysis from the University of Georgia and Master of Science in resources management from the Florida Institute of Technology and NASA.

Profiles of the 2021 Veteran Champions of the Year in Higher Education honorees are published in the August issue of G.I. Jobs magazine, distributed free – digitally and in print – to transitioning service members, veterans and their families worldwide.

About VIQTORY®

Founded on the belief that veterans are better for their service, VIQTORY® is the leading marketing firm connecting the military community to civilian opportunity. Its hundreds of clients include Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and colleges that use VIQTORY®’s marketing products to promote their employment, education, and entrepreneurship opportunities to the nation’s military community of veterans, military spouses, and transitioning service members. VIQTORY® is a VA and NaVOBA certified service-disabled, veteran-owned small business founded in 2001 by three Navy veterans. Its media brands include G.I. Jobs®, Military Spouse®, and Military Friendly®. VIQTORY® offers digital and print advertising in its own media as well as managed programmatic advertising, which enables it to reach its audience on virtually any platform and any device, at the precise location and at the right time. For details visit viqtory.com.

Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​