Eric Watson ’91 wasn’t envisioning himself as a U.S. Marine Corps aviator when he first came to Syracuse University. The Washington D.C., native originally intended on studying computer science, but as is the case with many college students, Watson realized…
2020 Tillman Scholar Applications Open
The Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF) unites and empowers remarkable military service members, veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders committed to service beyond self.
PTF has opened the application process for the Tillman Scholar program, which supports eligible military service members, veterans and spouses with academic scholarships, leadership development opportunities and a national network so they are empowered to make an impact in the fields of health care, public service, business, STEM, law, the humanities and education. The application to join the 2020 class of Tillman Scholars will remain open until Feb. 29.
The fellowship program honors Pat Tillman, a starting safety for the National Football League’s Arizona Cardinals, who in 2002 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.
Each year, up to 60 applicants nationwide are selected to be Tillman Scholars based on the core values of service, scholarship, humble leadership and impact. Active duty service members and 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. Now in its fourth year as one of 15 PTF University Partners, Syracuse University was selected for its innovative veteran services, strong culture of support for military veterans and spouses and its rigorous academic programs.
“We’re honored and excited to continue our partnership as a Tillman Foundation University Partner,” says Col. (Ret.) Ron Novack, executive director of the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA). “Syracuse University wholly supports their charge to empower active duty service members, veterans and their spouses. This partnership affirms the hard work of so many as we remain committed to being the best place for veterans and their families.”
Katy Quartaro ’18 G’20, a Marine Corps veteran and candidate in the executive master of public administration program in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs was named a Tillman Scholar in 2019; Katie Piston, a Navy spouse and doctoral candidate in the bioengineering program in the College of Engineering and Computer Science was selected in 2018; and Ryan Gross ’18, now a senior intelligence analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency, was the University’s inaugural Tillman scholar in 2017.
To date, PTF has invested more than $18 million in academic support and named 635 Tillman Scholars at over 150 academic institutions nationwide.
Eligible full-time students pursuing a degree at Syracuse University, or planning to enroll full-time at the school, may apply to be Syracuse University 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, financial worksheet, a character recommendation and two essays detailing military and public service experiences as well as future academic and career goals.
Applications must be submitted by Feb. 29. Finalists will be interviewed by the Pat Tillman Foundation and asked to submit additional materials.
The Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising (CFSA) is eager to help students with their Tillman Scholar application materials. “Our office exists to help students navigate the process of applying for nationally competitive scholarships,” says Jolynn Parker, director of CFSA. “We’re here to help with essays and personal statements. I’m looking forward to working with our student veterans on this extraordinary opportunity.”