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UWF Military and Veterans Resource Center celebrates donors and students

University of West Florida | news@uwf.edu

UWF Military and Veterans Resource Center celebrates donors and students

The University of West Florida Military and Veterans Resource Center awarded scholarships to seven students at its annual Donor Appreciation Luncheon on May 16 at the Museum of Commerce.

The luncheon recognizes military veterans and dependents or family members of active or retired service members by awarding the Navy Federal Credit Union Scholarship, Brig. Gen. and Mrs. Michael Ferguson Scholarship and Buzz and Larue Ambersley Scholarship.

Established in 2012, the Buzz and Larue Ambersley Scholarship provides assistance to a dependent child or spouse of a veteran, deceased or active duty non-commissioned officer who is a resident of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa or Walton counties. The 2018 recipient is Kyle Eads, a sophomore computer science major who puts his leadership skills to work in the classroom, helping other students in subjects in which he excels.

In 2001, Brig. Gen. and Mrs. Michael Ferguson created an endowment to provide support for military veterans and their dependents who demonstrate leadership capability and commitment to service. The 2018 recipients include:

– Sade Lashai Bray, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, is an aspiring entrepreneur who served in the U.S. Army.
– Edna Lugo, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in business administration, is a Coast Guard spouse whose father retired from the Army after serving in Korea and Vietnam.

With each move her family has made with the Coast Guard, Lugo said she has made sacrifices in her professional career. While her husband utilized his GI Bill to earn his MBA, she had to take out student loans to work toward hers.

“I have made it a goal to advance myself professionally in some way each move,” Lugo said. “This scholarship helps eases the financial burden to pursue my degree.”

Navy Federal Credit Union presented scholarships to four students for this upcoming academic year, including:

– Hailee Holt, a senior marine biology major who serves on the executive board for the National Society of Leadership and Success, the nation’s largest leadership honor society.
– Aja James, a senior exercise science major who served in the Florida Air National Guard and is now working to become an occupational therapist.
– Ayanna Kennedy, a senior nursing major who serves on the UWF African American Student Association.
– Andrew Summerlin, a senior athletics training major and building manager with UWF Recreation who leads with integrity, service and excellence.

“I feel extremely fortunate to receive a scholarship from Navy Federal and am thankful for their sacrifices to provide opportunities for military dependents, like myself,” said Summerlin. “My goals in life are becoming more attainable everyday through the scholarships given by kind donors like Navy Federal. I consider my life truly blessed through their giving, and I hope Navy Federal continues to bless others in the future with their generosity.”

For more information about the UWF Military and Veterans Resource Center, visit uwf.edu/mvrc.

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