Memorial Scholarship Fund Continues Legacy of Assistance to Veterans

Jeff Bosworth served his country for nearly three decades as a member of the US Navy. He went on to follow other passions in life – learning, teaching and astronomy to name a few – yet he remained a vocal advocate for fellow veterans.

Jeff BosworthThose interests intersected at UC Clermont College, where Bosworth served as an information technology professor after retiring from the Navy. Bosworth felt strongly about lifelong learning, and used his experience as a veteran to help students who came from military backgrounds. “Jeff was beloved around UC Clermont, and would do anything he could to help,” said his wife, Tina. “There were times when students told him they were struggling, and he’d buy their books. He didn’t care that the money was coming out of his own pocket, he just wanted to help them stay on track.”

His commitment to helping others made Bosworth an ideal choice to serve as UC Clermont’s first academic director of Veteran’s Affairs in 2010. “He was so happy to be supporting veterans and helping them continue their education,” Tina said. “He would help with the paperwork, show them degree options, and listen to what students needed. Sometimes, it was just telling them he believed in them.”

Jeff Bosworth plane

Bosworth stayed at UC Clermont until he fell ill and passed away in 2014. Former students and the community wanted to make sure his legacy was always part of UC Clermont, so the Bosworth Family began collecting contributions for a scholarship fund in his honor. “When we published Jeff’s obituary, we asked for (scholarship) contributions in lieu of flowers,” Tina said. “He had talked about setting up a scholarship in the past, and we felt it was the perfect time to do it.”

A few months later, more than $3,300 in contributions helped establish the Jeffery Bosworth Memorial Scholarship Fund at UC Clermont, which can be awarded to any UC Clermont student who previously served in the military. When the first scholarship award was made in April 2015, friends and family were thrilled to see Bosworth’s legacy of service continue. What they didn’t realize was that Bosworth already had made an incredible impact on the student who received the award.

Second-year manufacturing engineering technology major Brandon Wanstrath “was in a tough spot in his life” when he came to UC Clermont for an informational session. Wanstrath was discharged from the US Marine Corps after an injury and felt like his life was standing still. He needed a new path to his future and hoped to find it through education. 

Jeff Bosworth holding alligatorThat’s what led him to a meeting with Bosworth early in 2014 – a meeting that inspired Wanstrath to apply to UC Clermont. “What I remember about Jeff (Bosworth) was his insistence that I could do it, that I could attend college and be successful,” Wanstrath said. “That was really helpful to hear, because I needed a push like that to take the next step and go for it.”

Wanstrath began his studies in August 2014, the same month Bosworth passed away. Today, Wanstrath benefits from the generosity of Bosworth’s family and friends as the first recipient of the Jeff Bosworth Memorial Scholarship.

“With a new daughter at home, the scholarship has helped so much,” Wanstrath said. “It was a relief to know I would be able graduate on time. I also never expected to earn a 4.0 GPA, which I was able to do last semester, and achieve a 3.9 GPA before that. I plan to keep going with my education at UC’s main campus once I finish my degree here, and I know none of it would be possible without meeting Jeff.”

Bosworth’s friends and family continue to lead fundraising efforts so more veterans can receive scholarships in the future. While Bosworth can no longer encourage students himself, a scholarship award in his name is having an impact on those who need the encouragement most.

“I was dumbfounded when I learned I was getting that scholarship,” Wanstrath said. “It meant so much to be recognized and to know that I was part of Jeff’s legacy. I was able to meet his friends and family and thank them in person, which meant a lot considering all that Jeff did for me.”

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