William Connor Smithson, of Cary, N.C., is the latest recipient of the Captain Jay W. Stull Memorial Award at Washington and Lee University.
The Jay W. Stull Memorial Award was established in 1968 in memory of Captain Jay W. Stull, Class of 1960, who gave his life for his country in Vietnam.
The award is made upon the recommendation of the United States Marine Corps in the fall of each year to that Washington and Lee member of the Senior Marine Platoon Leaders Class who attains the highest ranking during the preceding summer camp training school.
“I am truly honored to receive a scholarship in memory of a W&L graduate who served as a Marine Captain and gave his life for our country,” said Smithson.
Immediately after graduating in May 2013, Smithson will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He plans to attend flight school in Pensacola, Fla., after six months of training at The Basic School in Quantico, Va.
Smithson has spent the past two summers at Marine Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, Va.
“OCS consisted of two six-week sessions that tested me physically, mentally, and academically, and helped me to develop leadership skills I can use in all areas of my life. It was by far the most challenging, yet the most fulfilling experience of my life. After graduation, I will be on active duty,” said Smithson.
Smithson became interested in joined the military after the tragic events of 9/11.
“I have been very blessed to grow up in the United States of America. I feel the need to give back to my country for all the opportunities that my country has afforded me. I wanted to join the Marine Corps,” said Smithson, a business administration major.
As a student of W&L, Smithson has been active in numerous organizations and activities. He has served as president of Phi Kappa Psi social fraternity and is a member of both the varsity wrestling and varsity lacrosse teams. He was named General of the Month for February.
— by Sara Korash-Schiff '15
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs