Saint Martin’s announces 2010 America’s Service Heroes Scholarship recipient

November 10, 2010

Lacey, Washington — Saint Martin’s University recently announced that First Lieutenant Kelly Ray Leaverton is the second recipient of the University’s America’s Service Heroes Scholarship. The announcement was made on November 6, at this year’s President’s Gala, the University’s annual fundraiser for student scholarships, which was held at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Washington. This year’s award is given in memory of Sgt. Dale Russel Griffin, a graduate of Saint Martin’s University killed in action while in support of 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division combat operations in Afghanistan in October 2009.

“The America’s Service Heroes Scholarship was created to provide financial assistance to those service members and their families who have sacrificed for our nation’s well-being and security,” said Cruz Arroyo, director of extension campuses. “The ability to provide financial relief to the defenders of our culture and heritage through pursuit of higher education was the motivating force of the scholarship’s founders and supporters.”

Lieutenant Leaverton is a member of the 562 Engineer Company, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT). He has served in multiple leadership positions during his 18 years of service as both an enlisted member and officer of the United States National Guard and active Army including his present duties with the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division as platoon leader. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 with the 82nd Engineer Battalion where he earned a Purple Heart for wounds sustained during combat and served most recently from July 2009 to August 2010 with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division as a platoon leader supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. During both deployments, he supported combat operations while conducting daily patrols and reacting to multiple threats.

Lieutenant Leaverton is pursuing a psychology degree with Saint Martin’s University. He became interested in a psychology degree with a focus on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder both from his own experiences in combat as well as observing others during combat operations. Lieutenant Leaverton has continued to enroll in Saint Martin’s University courses at Joint Base Lewis McChord and at the end of December 2010, he will be within 17 credits of degree completion.

For more information about the America’s Service Heroes Scholarship, contact Katie Wojke at or Cruz Arroyo at

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 22 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Everett College, Centralia College, Olympic College, and Tacoma Community College.