Marjorie Ward Scholar Contributes to College, Community

Patrick Dugan

Patrick Dugan

  • Major: Education
  • Hometown: Beesley's Point
  • Atlantic Cape Scholarship: Full-tuition Marjorie Ward Leaders Scholarship
  • College & Community Service: CMCC Student Ambassador Club, Marmora Volunteer Fire Co.; EMT, Upper Township Rescue Squad.
  • Future Plans: Earn a bachelor's degree in Education; become a school principal

If it weren't for Atlantic Cape Community College, bright young students like Patrick Dugan might not have the opportunity to shine in so many areas of their lives.

This 19-year-old education major from Beesley's Point, who expects to graduate from the College in spring 2011, is not only a credit to his school, he is also a great contributor to his community.

In addition to landing on the dean's list, Dugan also is involved in the Student Ambassadors Club, an organization that provides tours of the Cape May County Campus, helps new students learn their way around and raises funds for community causes; works at the College library; and previously served as a Student Government Association representative for the Fine Arts Club.

He attends the College on a Marjorie Ward Scholarship. Ward, who passed away in 2004 at the age of 105, was an educator for many years with the Montclair Junior High School system, and later retired to Cape May County. Although retired, she remained active in the Retired Teachers' Association, among many other organizations, and was a tireless champion of higher education.

Educator Left Scholarship Legacy

To that end, she made a bequest to the Atlantic Cape Foundation that provides annual two-year, full-tuition scholarships to up to six Cape May County residents who demonstrate leadership potential through The Marjorie Ward Leaders Scholarship Endowment Fund.

"Ms. Marjorie Ward was a remarkable woman who showed an outstanding understanding of students' dedication and determination, as well as how difficult it is for students to achieve an education due to financial restrictions," Dugan said. "Ms. Ward's incredible generosity has made the financial burden of higher education so much easier on my family."

Thanks to his receipt of the scholarship, Dugan also was able to start a savings account that will enable him to afford attendance at a four-year college, where he plans to continue to study education, with the goal of becoming a school principal.

Promoting a Strong Community

As for his community activities, he joined the Marmora Volunteer Fire Company when he was 16. He later received certification to become an emergency medical technician, and now works for the Upper Township Rescue Squad. He also participates in community clean-ups, chaperones events at Ocean City High School, teaches religious education classes at his church and lends a hand to those in his community whenever needed.

Ms. Ward's incredible generosity has made the financial burden of higher education so much easier on my family.

"I believe it is so important to give back to the community, to promote a strong community where we all stand together," he said. "I also feel it is important to give back to the children of the community, because children need strong figures in their lives to help guide them on their journey through adolescence, just as I was guided by strong figures when I was a child."

He continues to get this kind of guidance at Atlantic Cape. "Atlantic Cape is such a positive place where everyone is glad you came," Dugan said. "Whenever I may be having troubles, there is always someone to talk to or someone there to help with a problem. My favorite part of Atlantic Cape is definitely the sense of family. I recently underwent an operation. When I came out of the operating room, there was a message from my advisor, checking to see if I was okay. What four-year university allows the opportunity to form such student/faculty friendships?"

'Model Student and Citizen'

Not surprisingly, the faculty and staff at the College have nothing but praise for this young man. "Everyone is so impressed with Patrick's maturity, sense of commitment to the community and the campus," said Lisa Apel-Gendron, Director of the Cape May County Campus Administrative and Customer Services. "He is a model student and citizen."

"Patrick is an intelligent warm, caring human being," added CMCC Library Technician Kathy Fritz. "And we have been fortunate to have him as a student worker in the CMCC library."

Dugan, meanwhile, has nothing but praise for the College, a place that is enabling an outstanding young man to help make the world a better place, for him and others.

"Attending Atlantic Cape is the smartest decision you can make," he said. "You will achieve an excellent education while saving money and being close to home. Atlantic Cape is small enough to have a family feel, but large enough to be a wonderful place to attend classes."