When Michael Skarda started the journey of becoming a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force, there were no indications that his military career was beginning amidst two decades of conflict. In 2002, Skarda joined the Air Force’s Reserve Officer…
Tillman Scholars Applications Now Open
The application process for the Tillman Scholars program, which funds education for student veterans and spouses of veterans, will open Feb. 1.
The scholarship honors Pat Tillman. In 2002, Tillman, a starting safety for the National Football League’s Arizona Cardinals, put his football career on hold to serve his country. Family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation following Pat’s death in April 2004 while serving with the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. The foundation invests in military veterans and their spouses through scholarship and programmatic support, and is dedicated to building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others.
Up to 60 applicants nationwide are selected to be Tillman Scholars every year. Student veterans attending a four-year institution full time, as well as the current or surviving spouses of veterans or active-duty service members, are eligible to apply.
Syracuse University was selected as a Pat Tillman Foundation University Partner in 2016 after an extensive evaluation process. University Partners are chosen for their demonstrated commitment to supporting military veterans and spouses on campus.
“We’re thrilled to have been chosen as a University Partner,” says Ron Novack, executive director of the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs and the designated point of contact with the Pat Tillman Foundation. “This represents a tremendous opportunity for Syracuse University’s more than 375 student veterans and veteran spouses, since we’re now guaranteed to have at least one Tillman Scholar from our campus each year.”
The Tillman Scholarship can play a significant role in helping student veterans and veteran spouses achieve their academic and professional goals. Beyond funding for academic expenses, the scholarship provides significant networking, leadership and service opportunities.
Students who plan to pursue a degree at Syracuse University may apply to be SU Tillman Scholars. Currently enrolled Syracuse University students who plan to pursue graduate studies at an institution that is not a University Partner may still apply to be a Tillman Scholar by applying “at large.”
Interested students should visit the Pat Tillman Foundation website, pattillmanfoundation.org, to start an application. The application requires a resume, valid military service record, a character recommendation and two essays detailing the applicant’s military and public service experiences as well as future academic and career goals.
Applications must be submitted by March 1. Finalists will be asked to submit additional materials and will be interviewed by the Pat Tillman Foundation.
The Center for Fellowship & Scholarship Advising (CFSA) is eager to help students with their Tillman Scholar application materials. “We’re always happy to help students writing personal statements or essays for nationally competitive scholarships,” says Jolynn Parker, director of CFSA. “I’m especially looking forward to working with our student veterans on this extraordinary opportunity.”