Our 2011 scholarship awards are triple that of 2010 thanks, in part, to the generosity of Gene Overton and Lee Sullivan. Both Gene and Lee have agreed to fund named awards within our scholarship program. Gene's award will be called The Eugene and Marilyn Overton Scholarship Award, while Lee's award will be named The NAVILLUS Foundation Award.
The NAVILLUS Foundation is a family foundation headed by Lee and Carol Sullivan. This award is dedicated to the members of B Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry who served in the Republic of Vietnam during 1969 and 1970.
Gene Overton served in C Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry at Fort Campbell and the Republic of Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. Gene is also the co-founder of the 506th Association and he, along with his wife Marilyn, have donated an untold amount of time, energy, and money to further the goals of the Association. This award is dedicated to all who served with C Company from 1967 to 1968.
The 506th Association Scholarship Committee selected Pietra Bruni of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the winner of the $1,000 Marilyn and Eugene Overton Scholarship Award. Pietra recently graduated from Seton-La Salle Catholic High School and will be attending the University of Pittsburgh this fall, with plans to double major in Psychology and Art History. At Seton-La Salle, Pietra was a member of the National Honor Society, National Forensics League, International Club, Model United Nations, Liturgy Choir, Volleyball team, Academic Games, Media Editor of the Newspaper and President of her school's chapter of SADD. Pietra was the recipient of the 2011 Saint Joan of Arc Medal and the St. Francis' Challenge Program Award Winner for two consecutive years due to her community service involvement. Pietra's marine biology based science experiment has also won numerous awards through the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science and Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair, including the Princeton Alumni Association Award, NOAA's Taking The Pulse of the Planet Award and the American Meteorological Society's Certificate of Excellence. Pietra's future plans include obtaining her PhD in psychology and becoming a therapist/counselor. Pietra is the daughter of SGT Raymond R. Bruni who served with A Company, 1st Battalion, 506th PIR.
The following letter is from Pietra:
June 9, 2011
Dear 506th Scholarship Committee,
Thank you very much for selecting me to be a 2011 Scholarship Recipient; it means a lot that you would extend this honor to me, and I accept it with the utmost respect. Your generosity will help me pursue my goal of obtaining my PhD in psychology where I, hopefully, can help improve the happiness and quality of living of others, as you have with all your service and dedication to our country. My father was extremely proud to be a member of the 506th and would be very proud and thankful of this great honor I received and the opportunity the 506th Scholarship Committee has given me to pursue my educational goals. Thank you again for all you do and for this scholarship. God bless!
The 506th Association Scholarship Committee selected Melissa Christiansen of Las Cruces, NM as the winner of the $1,000 NAVILLUS Foundation Award for 2011. Melissa is a 2010 graduate of New Mexico State University, where she received a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science. She is currently enrolled at Washington State University in Pullman, WA, and is studying veterinary medicine. Christina's husband is SPC Thomas Christiansen who currently serves with A Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry.
The following letter is from Melissa:
Jonathan "Gabe" Schoepflin
The 506th Association Scholarship Committee selected Jonathan "Gabe" Schoepflin as the winner of one of our three 2011 $1,000 Scholarships. Gabe lives in Gum Spring, Virginia where he attends Goochland County High School and maintains a 4.11 GPA. He will attend Virginia Commonwealth University this fall and plans to major in Music Performance - Jazz Studies. While attending high school Gabe was a member of The National Honor Society, was Drum Major of the Marching Band, and played with the Symphonic and Jazz Bands. He has won various awards for music performance and composition. Gabe is the grandson of 1LT Terry Ruhlen, who served with HHC, 3rd Battalion, 506 Infantry in the Republic of Vietnam.