Parachute drop to raise scholarship funds

Destiny Hosmer

Staff Writer 

Troy University’s Troy for Troops program is sponsoring “The Drop” to raise money for scholarships.

A grid consisting of a thousand 3-by-3-foot squares will be drawn on the lower football practice field, and a parachutist will jump onto the grid from a helicopter provided by Trojan Aviation.

The parachutist is Mike Mills, a veteran from Brundidge and member of Skydive the South, who will be donating a jump for the cause.

Anyone can buy a ticket to this event for $20 to reserve a square on the grid.

The square that the parachutist lands on will be the winning square, and the ticket holder will be awarded $1,000 in cash.

The $8,000 raised by this event will go towards eight $1,000 scholarships for student veterans or spouses of those on active duty.

The eight scholarship winners will be announced at the event.

Remaining funds from the event will go toward endowed scholarship funds.

“It gives you the chance to win $1,000, but the other side of the coin is that you’re really helping someone come to school,” said Jean Laliberte, associate vice chancellor for development.

The event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 11:30 a.m., on the lower football practice field.

“Troy has such a strong military history, and this is just another way that we can say thank you,” Laliberte said.

Tickets can be purchased at the Troy for Troops center in the Trojan Center, the Alumni House, the SGA office, the office of development, and the athletics ticket office.

Award criteria for the eight scholarships include a short essay and FAFSA submission.

Undergraduates must also have at least 15 hours of coursework completed at Troy with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Graduate students must have at least 12 hours of coursework completed at Troy with a GPA of 3.5 or better.

“We are recognizing high grades, need and performance,” said Dave Barron, associate vice chancellor for military affairs.

Scholarship applications can be picked up at the Troy for Troops Center and are due back by Oct. 29.

Following “The Drop,” the Troy football team will face the University of Louisiana at Monroe in Veterans Memorial Stadium at 2:30 p.m.

During halftime, all veterans in the stadium will be invited to cross the 50-yard line while the Sound of the South plays their service song, according to Barron.

Troy for Troops is further extending their assistance to service members, veterans and dependents through the VetSuccess on Campus program.

Through the VSOC program, Veteran’s Affairs places experienced vocational rehabilitation counselors on campus to assist the growing number of service members, veterans, and dependents attending school under the post-9/11 GI bill and other VA educational programs.

“VetSuccess on Campus is a very unique program,” Barron said. “We want to see Veterans having a degree plan they understand and can execute and graduate on time, then know what they’re going to do with that new degree.”

Troy University is one of only two schools in the state with this program, the other being the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.

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