LSU Memorial Tower campus

The Memorial Tower on LSU's campus.

LSU announced this week it will begin construction on a new building to support and recruit military and veteran students this January. 

The new facility, which will improve how the university supports, recruits and retains veterans, will be 4,600 square feet located on Raphael Semmes Road between the Women's Center and the African American Cultural Center. It's expected to open in fall 2017. 

The planned construction was made possible by a $1.2 million donation in July by William A. Brookshire, an LSU chemical engineering doctoral graduate from the class of 1961. 

The facility will have a computer lab, meeting rooms, offices and other space for services benefiting military students and families. 

“Dr. Brookshire’s generous gift allows LSU to take its rich history of military tradition and excellence to an entirely new level,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “Previously, we took pride in the number of students we saw go into the armed forces. Now, we can also be proud of how we serve them after they have served our country. These brave men and women, as well as their families, deserve all the support we can provide as they pursue their degrees. We thank Dr. Brookshire for making this center a reality.”

LSU currently enrolls almost 500 veterans and about 1,600 undergraduate dependents. 

The announcement comes days after LSU honored former Tiger Tyrann Mathieu during the weekend's game against Alabama for committing $1 million to the Tiger Athletic Foundation. His donation will benefit the Football Operation Center and create an endowed scholarship program for student athletes. 

The Advocate recently reported that LSU is the only SEC school where charitable giving for university athletics outpaces giving for academics. 

Follow Rebekah Allen on Twitter, @rebekahallen.