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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mom starts scholarship to honor life of student

    The mother of a student who died in a workplace accident in 2004 is hoping to prevent similar accidents by establishing a scholarship that will allow students to go to school without working dangerous part-time jobs.

    Joshua Morgan, a 20-year-old animal sciences and agricultural education sophomore, died after being trapped inside a birdseed grinder at a mill in Arizona Feeds Country Store. Morgan, an Arizona native, was cleaning the machine when it accidentally turned on.

    Pat Summers, Morgan’s mother, said her son worked part-time because he didn’t qualify for any scholarships and grants to pay for his schooling. He wanted to be a veterinarian in the racetrack industry and also had an interest in agricultural education.

    Summers said even as a single mom, she made too much money for Josh to qualify for any kind of economic assistance. But Summers could not pay for him to attend the UA, so he worked a part-time job.

    “”Even with a 3.7 GPA, he didn’t get any of the scholarships he applied for,”” she said. “”There’s nothing available for kids in that bracket.””

    Summers said she wants other students to be able to attend college without the pressure of having an outside job.

    We wanted to help the cause. The opportunity to go to college increases the chances of a better living and becoming economically independent.

    -Marcia Klipsch
    SIFE adviser

    “”He shouldn’t have been there, he shouldn’t have been killed,”” she said. “”If we can help at least one student a year, that’s worth it.””

    With the help of her family and friends, Summers raised enough money to start the Josh Morgan Scholarship through the University of Arizona Foundation to fund students with financial situations similar to her son’s.

    Summers said she hopes to raise enough money to be able to offer the scholarship by next year. She said the number of recipients will depend on the amount of money in the endowment.

    Although the qualifications to get the scholarship are not yet set, Summers said it will most likely be available for students entering the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who have a 3.5 GPA in their senior year of high school. Selection will be made by the

    Scholarship Committee of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Summers will help decide on the recipient.

    “”We want to carry on what Josh wanted to do,”” she said.

    The UA Students in Free Enterprise helped her with the endeavor and are continuing to look for a stable funding source for the endowment. They have a goal of raising $25,000.

    SIFE generally works in partnership with businesses and higher education to provide students the opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise.

    Summers said SIFE has been a big help and added that they are now working to raise enough money so the scholarship can be on going.

    Marcia Klipsch, SIFE adviser, said the members were supportive of working on the scholarship.

    “”We wanted to help the cause,”” she said. “”The opportunity to go to college increases the chances of a better living and becoming economically independent.””

    Animal sciences senior Whitney Martin, co-president of SIFE and a friend of Morgan, said the project was important to her.

    “”We wanted to help (Summers) get all the information and to find the best way to start the fund,”” she said.

    Martin said there are many students at the UA who have to work while going to school and said the scholarship is something Josh would have supported.

    “”Education was so important to him,”” she said. “”He was struggling to get through school while working at the same time.””

    Josh loved animals, was active in the Future Farmers of America and worked with high school children as a state officer in FFA, Martin said.

    Martin said she and Morgan were in the Race Track Industry Management Program, where they had to raise and train a thoroughbred colt. After Morgan’s death, the rest of the class raised and developed his colt, and it became a favorite.

    After they voted to name it J. Morgan’s Chance, Summers decided to buy it.

    “”(Josh) worked very hard and was proud of the horse,”” she said. “”I couldn’t not buy it.””

    The 2-year-old horse is not ready to race yet, but will likely begin racing next year.

    Any winnings the horse garners will be put into the scholarship fund.

    “”You never know whether you have a winner or not,”” Summers said. “”It’s a beautiful horse.””

    Donations for the scholarship can be sent to UA SIFE at PO Box 21003, Tucson, Arizona, 85721, with checks made out to the UA Foundation with Josh Morgan Scholarship written on the memo line.

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