CULLOWHEE – The family of Jacob Spencer Medford, a Western Carolina University student from Marion who died in July 2002 from injuries received in a hit-and-run accident, has contributed more than $126,000 to endow a scholarship fund in his memory.
The Jacob Medford Service Learning Scholarship Fund will provide five $1,000 awards annually to students planning to seek a career in a service-related field.
Contributions for the fund came from Medford’s family and from memorial donations made shortly after Medford’s death in a tragic traffic accident that occurred during the summer between his freshman and sophomore years, said Wayne Robinson, director of service learning programs at Western.
“Jacob was very involved in community service activities, both in his hometown and at the university,” said Robinson. “His parents felt that a community service scholarship in his memory would be a fitting memorial to Jacob by enabling other students interested in community service to work toward their college degrees.”
To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must document significant previous involvement in community service activities, submit a three-page essay on the importance of community service, and indicate a willingness to participate in service learning programs during fall and spring semesters.
The first recipients of Jacob Medford Service Learning Scholarships recently accepted awards from Jacob’s mother, Sarah Davis; stepfather, Ronnie Davis; and brother, Zack Medford.
The recipients are:
Edward Antonio Johnson of Decatur, Ga., a sophomore majoring in business administration and law, and entrepreneurship. Johnson is a 2002 graduate of Lakeside High School.
Molly Catherine Murtola of Weaverville, a junior majoring in nursing. The daughter of Steve and Nancy Murtola, she previously attended Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Murtola is a 2001 graduate of North Buncombe High School.
Christina Denise Smith of Sylva, a sophomore majoring in sociology. A 1997 graduate of Albia Community High School in Iowa, Smith previously attended Des Moines Area Community College.
Karen-Elaine Smith of Arden, a junior majoring in sport management. A 2002 graduate of Roberson High School, Smith is the daughter of Lucy Smith and the late Larry Smith. She previously attended Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.
Tabitha Griffen Taylor of Hendersonville, a freshman majoring in nursing. A May graduate of West Henderson High School, Taylor is the daughter of Grant and Barbara Taylor.
For more information about the Jacob Medford Service Learning Scholarship Fund, call Wayne Robinson at (828) 227-7234.