New ROTC Scholarship Honors Alumnus Col. Edward J. Preston Jr.
KINGSVILLE - May 29, 2008
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Featured in the photo:
L-R: Col. Edward J. Preston Jr., Dr. Rumaldo Z. Juarez,
LTC Ariel R. Rodriguez
A new scholarship for ROTC at Texas A&M University-Kingsville pays tribute to an honored alumnus.
The Col. Edward J. Preston Jr. Scholarship provides $500 a semester to a freshman or sophomore military science cadet. The recipient’s grade point average must be 3.0 or greater; the recipient must be fully enrolled and contracted in the ROTC program; and the ROTC faculty must recommend the recipient for the scholarship.
The scholarship, funded by an anonymous donor, honors a 1962 recipient of a B.B.A. from then-Texas College of Arts and Industries. Preston came to the college following service in the Army from 1951-1959. He was commissioned from the Javelina ROTC Battalion as a second lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps. He immediately attended Officers’ Basic Course at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, followed by the Fixed Wing Pilot Qualification Course.
Preston served in the Army until 1993. He was a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. During his military career, he earned a host of awards and decorations. They include three awards of the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Bronze Star award.
The scholarship’s namesake wanted a strong academic record to be the main factor in deciding who gets the award. “I think we need to keep raising the student GPA standards. You’ve got to give everyone in life a goal, and we always need to keep setting that benchmark higher,” said Preston, who lives in Kingsville.
Dr. Rumaldo Z. Juarez, president of Texas A&M-Kingsville, said of the award, “I think this scholarship is very important because it’s in the name of someone we admire, who gave so much to his country.
“Scholarships are one way of engendering and helping to grow future leaders of our country. We are very grateful to Col. Preston for helping that next generation of leaders.”
In reflecting on his military career, Preston didn’t stress the heroism, but rather his love for it all. “I tell my sister and everyone around me to keep doing what you enjoy. I thoroughly enjoyed myself in the military. I would be in for another 39 years if they would have let me.”
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