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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Tillman scholarship aids veteran students

The Tillman Military Scholars program has recently chosen the UA as a new university partner for the 2010/11 academic year.

The Pat Tillman Foundation will be announcing the open application for the second class of Tillman Military Scholars in early March, which is available to students of the eight partner universities.

All veterans, active service members and their dependents are qualified to apply.

The friends and family of former Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman created the foundation in 2004.

Tillman left football in the aftermath of 9/11 in order to serve in the military.

According to the official Pat Tillman Foundation press release, “”The Foundation’s goal for the Tillman Military Scholars program is to award annually $3.6 million in scholarship funds to veteran and active servicemembers and their families. This amount represents Pat’s NFL contract with the Arizona Cardinals which he turned down in order to join the armed forces and serve his country after September 11, 2001.””

In 2009, The Pat Tillman Foundation awarded $642,000 to the inaugural class of 52 students from 21 different universities across the nation.

This marks the first year the UA has been awarded scholarships from the Tillman Foundation.

An excerpt from the press release announcing the foundation’s new university partners says: “”Inspired by the distinguished life and legacy of Pat Tillman — professional athlete, military hero and a man of strong character and kindness — the Pat Tillman Foundation is building a community of scholars dedicated to improving their own lives, the lives of their families and their country by creating a spirit of service.””

Other new university partners include the University of Oregon, Cleveland State University and Texas A&M.

Dan Standage, coordinator for the Disabled Veterans Reintegration and Education Project, is working with Kristen Rennels, assistant director of scholarship stewardship for the Tillman Military Scholars program, to discover worthy candidates for the scholarship.

Standage organized the committee that is responsible for screening the applications forwarded to the Tillman Foundation for the final selection process.

“”We want to let veterans and their families know that we are participating in this scholarship as a partnership, but we are also helping them apply,”” Standage said.

Terri Riffe, director of the University Teaching Center, has also been assisting Standage and Rennels and helping veterans apply.

Riffe is available to help veterans and interested applicants complete their essay.

Rennels is directly connected with the scholarships granted at the UA.

“”We accept the gift on behalf of the university because we are a nonprofit organization that specifically raises money for the university. We will accept the gift from the Pat Tillman Foundation and making sure it gets out to the right students,”” Rennels said. “”We don’t have many other scholarships that are specifically geared towards veterans, so this is really great opportunity for veterans to get money to help them go to school.””

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