Two King’s Fork High School seniors were recently awarded the Lewis F. Morris Memorial Scholarship from the Suffolk Foundation.
Hunter Ruggerio and Hannah Marston both received $1,000 to help them attend school in the fall.
The scholarship memorializes Lewis Morris, the former principal of the old Chuckatuck High School. Graduates of Chuckatuck High School talked about starting the scholarship during reunions, and former students formed a committee.
In previous years, the scholarship fund was only big enough to allow for a single $500 scholarship, but the fund has grown so that now they can award two $1,000 scholarships. This is the second year in a row they have done so.
“Mr. Morris was such a wonderful principal, and we have such fond memories,” said fund advisor and Chuckatuck graduate Lynn Rose. “We wanted to do this for the students that live in the area. We have wanted to award two, because in the last few years, we’ve had such wonderful applicants.”
The scholarship is only available for those attending King’s Fork High School, because it encompasses the area for the former Chuckatuck High.
The scholarship isn’t based solely on academic merit, and it allows students who are involved in the community to receive scholarship money.
“It’s not necessarily about who has the best grades. It’s based on all around activities like sports and church,” Rose said. “We care about the importance of those things like community involvement and church involvement.”
Focusing on other things, not just academic achievement, lets the committee choose someone that participates in things that Lewis thought were important.
Hunter Ruggerio will be using his scholarship at Radford University, where he plans to major in recreation, parks and tourism. He hopes to become a game warden.
Ruggerio has a lot of similarities to Morris. Both enjoyed bass fishing, golfing and giving back to the community. He attends Nansemond River Baptist Church and does a lot of his community service with the congregation.
“It was really cool how I related to Mr. Morris. He was a really genuine and down to earth guy,” Ruggerio said.