The Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation presented a check last week for $1,000 to support the Jerms McGraw Second Chance Scholarship Fund in a ceremony at Palm Beach Atlantic University. The foundation raised the funds at its annual Wellington Community Fitness Run/Walk.
The scholarship was created in memory of U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Jeremiah McGraw. Known by his nickname “Jerms,” McGraw was a student at the MacArthur School of Leadership while serving as a Marine reservist, part of the 4th ANGLICO Unit in West Palm Beach. McGraw died on Sept. 10, 2009 during a training exercise in Central Florida while serving his country. He was 22. Prior to his death, McGraw earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Palm Beach Atlantic University.
“Jerms McGraw was a patriotic hero who is now saluted by both Palm Beach Atlantic University and the Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation,” Palm Beach Atlantic University President William M.B. Fleming Jr. said. “Through the foundation’s advocacy, community members can participate in passing along Lt. McGraw’s commitment to character and country.”
This type of scholarship program is an endowed scholarship. The principal of the endowment is never spent, so the endowment funds scholarships in perpetuity. As the funds mature, the scholarship awards increase with time.
“We are happy to make long-lasting investments in our community and people who need a second chance,” said Wayne Burns, CEO of the Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation.
Mary Lou Bedford, executive vice president of the Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation, presented the check to Fleming. In attendance were the parents of Jeremiah McGraw, Tim and Juanita McGraw, who are committed to growing the scholarship fund each year.
The contribution made by the foundation will boost the scholarship fund to more than $26,000. To date, the scholarship fund has supported four students. Three additional students will be presented with the Jerms McGraw Second Chance Scholarship at a lecture on Thursday, April 3. Jimmy Collins, former president and chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A, will speak at the event, which will be held 6:30 p.m. at the DeSantis Family Chapel at 300 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach. It is free and open to the public.
The Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce.
Palm Beach Atlantic University is a private, independent university offering undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. It is dedicated to the integration of Christian principles to prepare students for learning, leadership and service.
The April 3 lecture is part of the MacArthur Leadership Speaker Series. For more information, call Delesa Morris at (561) 803-2022.
ABOVE: (L-R) Dr. Jim Laub, dean of the MacArthur School of Leadership; Kate Myers de Vega, assistant professor of English; Sonya Moste and Mary Lou Bedford of the Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation; Tim and Juanita McGraw, parents of Jerms McGraw; and Palm Beach Atlantic University President William M. B. Fleming Jr.