News: MCB Hawaii Marines receive first memorial scholarship
Story by Kristen Wong
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII - Two Hawaii Marines became the first recipients of the new Loretta Cornett-Huff Memorial Scholarship, Jan. 21, 2014.
Master Sgt. Marion Eggers, 34, and Sgt. Michael Joseph, 24, formally received their scholarships from David W. Howle, executive director and dean, Wayland Baptist University Hawaii Campus, during a presentation at the Education Center.
Recently, Wayland Baptist University began offering two scholarships in honor of the retired command education services officer, who passed away June 20, 2013.
Cornett-Huff, who served in numerous positions throughout her career, including the Navy Campus Far East area coordinator in Yokosuka, Japan and public relations director at Oklahoma City University, had worked more than 42 years in government service.
“Loretta was a force of nature,” said Craig Lockwood, the supervisory education services specialist at the Education Center. “Her heart was with Marine Corps education. She loved the Corps. The best thing about Loretta was that there was never a dull moment working for her because of the passion that she had for military education and supporting our Marines.”
The Council of College and Military Educators, a national professional organization for military educators, has also established a scholarship in her name.
Before presenting the scholarships, Howle thanked Caron Ferguson, the Education Center’s lead education and career specialist, and Kardyn Flores, the WBU Hawaii Campus academic adviser for their efforts with the scholarship. “As we considered (establishing the scholarship), we felt because of the relationship we had had with Loretta and with this base, it certainly made sense to offer a scholarship in her name,” Howle said.
“We hope that the legacy will go on and on. We would like for there to be a regular awarding of this scholarship and it’s a great pleasure today to present the scholarships to the two who were selected. We’re very proud of their work.”
Eggers, the operations chief for MCB Hawaii’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal section, is working toward a bachelor’s degree in Christian ministry. The native of Boone, N.C., has been attending WBU for about a year and plans to graduate in 2015.
Eventually, he is considering either becoming a chaplain in the Navy or working with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization based in North Carolina that provides various community-supporting programs and aids in disaster relief. In the future, Eggers said he is also considering pursuing a master’s degree in divinity and a doctorate in theology.
“I was overly excited,” Eggers said. “The Marine Corps has put in a policy where I can only use (tuition assistance for) one class at a time. I take two classes every term, so the more I don’t have to pay out of pocket the (better).”
Joseph, the avionics noncommissioned officer in charge at Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, is working toward a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance management. Joseph, who started attending WBU last year, plans to graduate in 2015.
The native of Ellenboro, W.V., said he would like to stay in the Marine Corps for 20 years, and he is working on his degree to improve in his military occupational specialty. Eventually, he plans to work on a master’s degree in aviation maintenance management.
“I was actually really amazed,” Joseph said. “(When) I found about the scholarship the deadline was in four days. I was really surprised that I received it.”
Joseph said the timing was just right as one of his classes was cancelled and as he instead enrolled in a new class, he did not have time to reapply for tuition assistance.
“I honestly think these scholarships, like the Wayland Baptist scholarship, are the best way to honor her legacy,” Lockwood said. “I’m sure she would love the fact that we were doing this, and appreciate this. She always had a special place in her heart for Wayland and it went back many years. On behalf of Loretta, I express my gratitude to Dr. David Howle and Kardyn Flores for establishing this scholarship. I also want to thank Caron Ferguson for helping Wayland with the applicants. In the current economic climate, many benefit programs have become restricted or reduced. These scholarships go a long way in allowing our Marines to continue their studies and complete their academic programs.”
In order to apply for this scholarship, WBU students must submit an application, recommendation letter and a 700-word essay answering a specific question.
For more information about available scholarships, visit http://www.mccshawaii.com/edcenter, or call the Education Center at 257-2158.