By Lance Cpl. Erik S. Brooks Jr.
CAMP COURTNEY, OKINAWA, Japan – In 2011, Colgate University established the leadership scholar program, which allows two Marines per year to be accepted for enrollment and receive full scholarships to the school.
Sgt. Daniel R. Luntzel received an envelope in the mail from Colgate University containing his acceptance and scholarship letters April 27.
“I was very honored when I found out that I received the scholarship,” said Luntzel, an instructor with Special Operations Training Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF.
Colgate’s leadership scholar program is nationwide and recognizes students having a meritorious record of academic achievement and involvement in community service, which contributes toward their growth as future leaders of America, according to Colgate University’s website.
“Last December, I received an e-mail describing how Colgate University was seeking two Marines to enroll in the fall of 2012,” said Luntzel. “It also announced the Marines chosen would be guaranteed admittance and would incur no more than $2,000 in educational expenses per year. I realized what a huge opportunity this was for any Marine who met the requirements.”
The requirements for the scholarship were a minimum SAT score of 1200, an end of active service date before the fall semester, a high school diploma and an interview with the Colgate dean of admissions, Gary Ross, said Luntzel.
“Since I scored well enough and knew I eventually wanted to go back to college, I wrote to Beth E. Morgan, the special admissions program recruiter at Camp Pendleton, Calif., about applying” said Luntzel. “Over the following weeks, I stayed in contact with her and provided her with my transcripts and personal information.”
Ross scheduled a day of interviews with candidates on Camp Pendleton at the end of January, said Luntzel.
“I expected to be training during that time frame, so I was making arrangements to conduct the interview via telephone,” said Luntzel. “When I informed my assistant officer-in-charge, Lt. Col. Stephen P. Armes, that I was going to interview for Colgate, he became very excited that I was selected and offered to help me prepare in any way.”
A few days later, Luntzel was on his way to California to interview in person.
During the interview, Luntzel spoke with Dean Ross about his academic record and the university.
“I believe that we both walked away convinced that Colgate University and I would be a good fit for each other,” said Luntzel.
By the time Luntzel returned to Okinawa, Morgan had already sent an email stating he was accepted.
“Sgt. Luntzel received this award due to his hard work during his studies and his commitment to his community,” said Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., commanding general of III MEF. “He embodies our Marine Corps’ core values greatly and this scholarship is well deserved.”
Luntzel plans to study political science and international relations.
“I encourage Marines to continue to apply for the scholarship, so they can set themselves up for a career outside of the Marine Corps,” said Luntzel.