Did you hear about the big recruiting signings UT just made? Yes, Football Coach Tim Beckman and his staff have been very active, but they didn’t have anything to do with these.
Four Army Junior ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) cadets at Detroit Northwestern High School received full college scholarships through the Army valued at more than $100,000 each. We’re talking tuition, books, room and board, plus a monthly stipend. The students won the scholarships in competition with cadets around the country.
The students could use their scholarships at the college or university of their choice, and at a recent assembly in their school’s gymnasium in front of friends and family, all of the cadets signed letters of intent to use them at UT.
The cadets — Aristede Hayes, Morgan Jewell, Dwayne Jones and Nytisha Reed — won their scholarships based on academic achievement, physical fitness tests and leadership ability.
“We are proud to welcome four students of this caliber into the UT family,” said Billy Pierce, director of first-year admissions, who attended the assembly with members of UT’s Army ROTC.
The UT-Detroit Northwestern connection developed after Maj. William Wedley of UT’s ROTC program made a presentation to a Junior ROTC group in Michigan, and Sgt. 1st Class Steven Fluharty, an assistant instructor in Northwestern’s ROTC program, decided to arrange campus visits in November and January.
“When we visited, the cadets were treated very, very well,” Fluharty said. “UT acted like they really wanted them, the campus is beautiful, and the programs offered were exactly what the students wanted.”
Fluharty said that the students also were encouraged to get away from home so they could enjoy a totally new experience. Toledo is away from home, but not too far away.
Retired Lt. Col. Geoff Ovenden of UT’s Army ROTC said in addition to interviews and physical fitness tests during the visits, the students were able to get a feel for campus.
“It was a big hit,” Ovenden said. “They felt like UT was a place they’d like to be.”
Fluharty said the scholarships will lift a huge financial burden off of the cadets’ families, so a signing ceremony, so common with high school athletes these days, was a great way to celebrate.
“We feel these scholarships are just as valuable as those for athletics,” Fluharty said. “We feel this should be a big deal.”