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Posted on December 9, 2014

A Cal U Global Online Student wins a scholarship at a Veterans Affairs diner. On his first visit to campus, retired Army Master Sgt. Samuel Morris discovered that Cal U more than lives up to its advertising Morris, a resident of Tacoma, Wash., who studies through Cal U Global Online, last month received the 2014–2015 Col. Arthur L. Bakewell Veterans Scholarship.

The scholarship was presented officially at the Cal U Veterans Club’s 41st annual Veterans Day Dinner. It is awarded annually in memory of Bakewell, a longtime Veterans Club adviser, and funded through the generosity of the Veterans

Scholarship Fund 500 Club. Morris retired in 2010 after 20 years of service, which included deployments to Korea (1991-1992), Germany (1997- 1998) and Iraq (2005-2006).

He became a certified personal trainer, but realized his second career needed a college degree. So he enrolled in Cal U’s online sport management program, with a concentration in health and wellness.

Morris said he became aware of Cal U while spending time at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Md.; Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois; and Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Wash. 

“Cal U is consistently named ‘military friendly,’ and it shows. I’ve been to the education centers at all three of those places. You pick up pamphlets and you always see a Cal U ad or something about them in there talking about all their programs.”

Morris said he was impressed with both the campus and the support that Cal U provides for its student-veterans.

“The Veterans Club consists of a phenomenal group of people, and I can see why vets excel here. … I’m proud of my school.” 

Guest speaker at the dinner was another Cal U student, retired Air Force Col. Franziska Chopp. She recently served 12 years as staff judge advocate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. 

Now a graduate student majoring in elementary education, Chopp is pursuing her dream of teaching young children. She also wants to help newer veterans on campus. 

“Despite their experience, it’s very challenging for veterans to transition from soldiers to students,” she said. “I want to make a better effort to reach out to newer student-veterans, because we can be of great benefit to each other. All of us here need to get involved and give back our knowledge to our veterans.”

Capt. Robert Prah, director of Veterans Affairs, coordinated the dinner “Celebrating Student Veterans.” Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 235 students, faculty and staff at Cal U have served in the U.S. military, he said. A number of students have served multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The experience, professionalism, knowledge and wisdom they bring back to our campus benefits our student body,” he said. “There’s no better way our nation can supply a benefit to our veterans than for them to go to school on the Post-911 G.I.


Student Delroy Blake, who recently returned from active duty overseas, and alumnus Kerrie Gill Sr. ’76, ’83, a 30-year member of American Legion Post 377, were awarded Presidential Patriotic Service medallions.

Carolyn Clements, former assistant director and military coordinator for Cal U Global Online, received the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service medal.