LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas’ Office of Graduate Military Programs has announced two students have received the University’s first-ever Wounded Warrior Scholarship.
The scholarship is awarded to assist injured veterans, and family members who are identified as primary caregivers, in meeting the financial challenges associated with pursuing a degree at KU. The awardees are as follows:
Anthony Schmiedeler, born and raised in Kansas City, Kan., is a 25-year-old junior in graphic design. He served in the Marine Corps from 2005 to 2009, achieving the rank of sergeant as an amphibious assault vehicle crew chief. Schmiedeler was deployed to Iraq in 2006, and again in 2007, during which he encountered multiple improvised explosive devices and enemy assaults. He began rehabilitation upon return from his second deployment. Schmiedeler has an ambition to become a professional graphic designer and one day own his own design firm; the Wounded Warrior Scholarship will help to set him on the right track.
Jennifer Thornton, a native of San Diego, holds a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Mississippi and an master's degree in education from the University of Washington. Jennifer was a seventh-grade teacher for seven years before being accepted into the KU School of Social Welfare’s Master of Social Work program for fall 2013. Her interest in social work was sparked after her husband, Jason, was medically retired from the U.S. Army after serving two combat tours in Iraq. She has been a fierce advocate for her husband, whose continuing recovery has included inpatient stays in Seattle; Yountville, Calif.; Queens, N.Y., and Galveston, Texas. Upon completion of her MSW, Thornton plans to work with wounded warriors and their families. She currently resides in Leavenworth with Jason and their 4-year-old son, Hayden.
Recipients of the Wounded Warrior Scholarship receive $10,000 per year. The scholarships, which are renewable for up to four academic years, provide funds for tuition, fees and books, and living expenses.
“We are very excited for Anthony and Jennifer as our first two recipients of KU’s Wounded Warrior Scholarship. They were selected from a number of well-qualified applicants,” said Mike Denning, director of KU’s Graduate Military Programs. “And we are extremely grateful to the Hartley Family Foundation; Tom and Jennifer Laming of Leawood, Kansas, and to the dozens of other donors from across the country who provided gifts to establish this scholarship.”
Donations to the Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund count toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.
The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.