Friends, family celebrate life with scholarship

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April 3, 2007

12:51 PM

__McGlothlin, ‘01, was killed in Iraq in October 2005__

This May, the first $2,000 scholarship in honor of 1st Marine Lt. Donald Ryan McGlothlin, ’00, will be awarded. McGlothlin died Oct. 16, 2005 in Ubaydi, Iraq.

p. Geoff David, McGlothlin’s roommate at the College, came up with the idea to establish a scholarship in his honor. The scholarship is for a deserving senior from McGlothlin’s high school, Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Va., who best exhibits McGlothlin’s personality and talents.

p. Friends and family participated in the Marine Corps Marathon and 10K in McGlothlin’s honor last October to raise money for the scholarship by enlisting sponsors for their runs.

p. “It was a very small thing to do, something I had to do because I really liked and admired Ryan and I could not stop thinking about all the people Ryan had not yet gotten to meet … I feel bad for those people,” Catherine Koebel, ’00, a friend of McGlothlin’s who participated in the marathon, said.

p. Ten people completed the marathon and six finished the 10K. Fourteen others came to support the runners. Over $14,000 was raised to benefit the scholarship. This October, several more are expected to participate, and the scholarship will grow as funds allow.

p. “In the more than eight years I knew Ryan, I never once heard a negative word said about him,” friend Shelley Gentry said. “I feel I have never known a better person. If you needed someone to talk to, he was there. If you needed someone to laugh with, he was there. If you needed someone to help you out, to listen, to party with, to watch the game with, he was there.”

p. At Lebanon High School, friend Shelley Gentry said, Mcglothlin was valedictorian of his class. At the College, he was a chemistry major and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated in the top 15 in his class and was chosen to assist the chemistry department chair with research for NASA, which brought national media attention to the College.

p. McGlothlin participated in ROTC at the College but had to leave the program when the Army found out that he had suffered a childhood respiratory problem.

p. “This devastated him because he had always wanted to join the military to serve his country,” Don McGlothlin, McGlothlin’s father, said. “Yet, he never gave up the notion that one day he might be able to serve. He consoled himself with the thought that he had not really wanted to join the Army anyway. He had really always wanted to be a Marine, the best fighting force the world has ever known.”

p. December 4, 2005, President Bush recognized Ryan as an example of the bravery of the American men and women fighting in Iraq and read a copy of the poem Ryan carried with him every day entitled “Don’t Quit.”

Contributions to the scholarship can be made to: Ryan McGlothlin Scholarship Fund. Money can be sent to: Lebanon High School, P.O. Box 217, Lebanon, VA 24266.

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