HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University donors and current recipients of privately funded scholarships were honored at the Scholarship Honor Brunch in the Memorial Student Center’s Don Morris Room on the Huntington campus.
Jacob Comer, an attorney and Marshall graduate who is now the senior legal and chief compliance officer at Starr Investment Holdings, was the featured speaker.
Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation, which sponsored the event, served as master of ceremonies.
“When I have visited with our scholarship recipients, I have heard many times from students that without scholarships they could not have afforded a university education. It made the difference in attending Marshall or not,” Area said. “Looking ahead, I believe the underlying importance of scholarships is that it gives our students an opportunity to have a better quality of life. I wish we could give every student a scholarship at Marshall.”
Comer, who graduated from Marshall in 2000 with a B.B.A. in accounting summa cum laude, was the recipient of several privately funded scholarships during his undergraduate years at Marshall. He went on to receive a J.D. degree, manga cum laude, from the Washington and Lee School of Law.
“My scholarships to attend Marshall were transformative. I took a year off before attending college—a very unusual step — and Marshall took a risk by granting me a scholarship it had offered a year earlier.” Comer said. “I was grateful, and strove to repay that gesture by focusing intensely on my studies. I arrived expecting a small state college, but I left with a sharp university education and a scholarship to law school. The faculty, staff and especially my friends and fellow students contributed to an enjoyable and rewarding experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. And in today’s world, one cannot understate the benefit of graduating college with almost no debt. For that, I remain immensely grateful.”
Marshall President Jerome Gilbert addressed the crowd with a speech titled “Envisioning the Future.” He talked about some of the aspirational qualities that define the scholars and donors at Marshall. In part, Gilbert said:
“We are seekers of truth, not people who tolerate lies and injustice. We are lifetime learners, not complacent graduates. We are readers and thinkers, not blind followers of rhetoric. We embrace the light, were are not ones who hide in the darkness. We turn the cheek, we don’t return violence. We surround ourselves with diversity, we don’t shut out people because they are different. We find solutions, we don’t contribute to the problem. We love knowledge, we are not afraid of new ideas. We are destined for greatness.”
“We are the sons and daughters of Marshall.”