Fairall Memorial Scholarships awarded

2023-2024 Fairall Scholarship Recipients: Front row, left to right: Kelley Fairall Fifer (committee member), Willow Schmidt, Jacob Janssen, Braylee Kimberley, Abigail Dawson, Shelby Frohwein. Back row, left to right: Bob Miller and Vic Hellberg (committee members). Not pictured: Ana Perez Garces.

MARSHALLTOWN – As has become a tradition close to Memorial Day, the Marshalltown Community College Foundation and the Fairall Memorial Scholarship committee celebrated with student recipients and their families the selection for one of MCC’s most prestigious scholarships. Because members of their families chose to serve in the Armed Forces, these MCC students were eligible and eventually selected as recipients of the Loyal S. and Helen Fairall Memorial Scholarships for 2023-24.

The committee awarded five full tuition and fees scholarships (up to 16 hours) to the following recipients: Abigail Dawson, Jacob Janssen, Braylee Kimberley, Shelby Frohwein and Willow Schmidt. A partial scholarship was awarded to Ana Perez Garces. The total value of the six scholarships is more than $38,000.

For the 21st year, the selection committee awarded the scholarships in memory of Loyal S. and Helen Fairall. In all, 128 MCC students have received the Fairall Memorial Scholarships, something the Fairall family believes would have made Loyal very proud. Loyal served in leadership positions for the American Legion Post #46 and was Commander in 1956. The award honors all of the men and women who are or have served their country so faithfully through the years.

“My father established this scholarship to honor his father’s service, and the service of all veterans. An education and service to country are the legacy my father and grandfather wanted to preserve,” says Kelley Fairall Fifer, daughter of Charles Fairall and granddaughter of Loyal S. Fairall. “We’re pleased to give out six scholarships this year, recognizing hard work and service evident in your families and these students.”

Applicants for the Fairall Memorial Scholarship must meet criteria of having family members who served in the Armed Forces of the United States. Members of the American Legion Scholarship Committee, Kelley Fairall Fifer, Vic Hellberg and Bob Miller, selected the students after carefully evaluating about two dozen applications.

Abigail Dawson – Abigail is the daughter of Christopher and Tawnya Dawson. She is a 2023 graduate of Marshalltown High School with a 3.959 GPA. Abigail shifted her focus from athletics to academic clubs and work during high school, participating in NHS and NSHSS, student rotarians, student senate and the Kindness Project. She worked hard to obtain 33 college credits while still in high school. At MCC she will continue acquiring credits toward transferring for a Bachelor’s Degree in mental health psychology and criminal justice. That interest has led to internships with law enforcement, the HS Law Enforcement Academy and Citizens Law Enforcement Academy. Family member Edwin Dawson served almost 2 years in the US Navy as a parachute rigger during World War II, earning 2 medals.

Shelby Frohwein – Shelby is the daughter of Jeremiah and Kelly Frohwein of LeGrand. She graduates from East Marshall this year with a 3.45 GPA. Shelby has participated in track, volleyball, golf, softball, band, choir and more. She volunteers at her local library and with church, and has worked detasseling and at Legends. She has completed a year of college credit already. After completing her AA at MCC, she intends to transfer to ISU for psychology with a business minor. She is even considering joining the military herself. Her grandfather, Lewis Martin, was a Navy Seal in WWII.

Ana Perez Garces – Ana graduated from Warwick High School in Newport News, VA in 2018 with honors, then joined the National Guard. After training, she moved to Iowa and has served as a cook in the Iowa National Guard. She signed up for an 8-year commitment, so we appreciate her service. She completed an accounting degree at MCC previously, but has decided to return to pursue nursing. She is mother to a little boy to whom she is very dedicated, and is confident her nursing career is the best choice. Eventually she would like to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.

Jacob Janssen – Jacob is the son of Teresa Janssen of Marshalltown and a 2022 graduate of West Marshall High School with a 3.25 GPA. Jacob currently works at the Marshalltown YMCA assisting with the after-school program for kids. Jacob has been at MCC this year, as part of the Computer Network Management program with a 3.9 GPA, participated on the Rainbow Six Siege team for MCC’s new Esports program, and became an officer in the IT Club. Jacob hopes to use his degree to get a job in IT, and move to Arizona or Nevada in the next few years. Jacob’s grandfather Duane Janssen was a member of the Marine Corps, and during his two years of service received many medals and commendations, including the Purple Heart and Vietnam Combat Medal and Combat Action Ribbon for a year in Vietnam.

Braylee Kimberly – Braylee lives with her grandparents, Terry Allan and Betsy Ray in Marshalltown, and graduated this year from GMG High School. In addition to keeping up a 3.9 GPA, Braylee has been involved in track, cheerleading, dance, Spanish club, theatre and robotics, among others. She’s been involved with volunteering and serves her community. Her educational plans include exploring subjects she enjoys while working on college requirements: math, English, science and Spanish. Her internship at Emerson led to greater interest in STEM, but career options are still very open. Braylee’s military family includes grandfather Terry Allan Ray and Wilfred Lee Ray and Benjamin Jones III. Terry served in the Marines for two years, including almost a year in Vietnam. He had several conduct and service medals commending him.

Willow Schmidt – Willow is the daughter of David and Rachel Schmidt of Albion. She graduated this year from the Marshalltown Virtual Academy, and has been taking dual credit classes at MCC and has earned a spot on the Dean’s list. Willow has been involved in competitions such as Battle of the Books and National History Day, and participated in the Iowa Junior Naturalist program as well as 4-H. She earned Silver Cord by volunteering at the library. Willow would like to complete her Associate’s Degree and then begin working to explore and gain skills. She looks forward to writing, a photography business and continuing to help with her mother’s small business. Willow’s grandfather, William J. Thatcher served in the Army for three years, including a year overseas in Vietnam. He was awarded many commendations, service medals, Bronze Service Star and more.

Applications for the 2024-25 scholarship will be available from the MCC Foundation Office, 3700 S. Center St., Marshalltown IA 50158 and on the Foundation’s website after Jan. 1, 2024. Completed applications with supporting documents will due to the Foundation Office by March 31, 2024.

Creating a memorial scholarship is one way to establish a legacy and financially assist MCC students and future students with their education. Anyone interested in learning more about starting a scholarship at MCC can contact Carol Geil, MCC Foundation Director, at (641) 844-5747.