The definition of courage is the quality of spirit in the face of trying circumstance.
By Judy Reed, Center for Military Education—
Many adult learners returning to college for a degree struggle to strike the right balance between home, work, and study. On that point, Excelsior College student and Marine veteran Ed Morneault is similar to millions of other post-traditional students.
The definition of courage however, is quality of spirit in the face of trying circumstance. And in that respect, Ed Morneault is an inspiration. For he is currently facing his greatest battle – the failure of his kidneys – in a way few others could.
Three times every week Ed, a facilities manager at Aberdeen Proving Ground, leaves his job to head across town to a local hospital to undergo dialysis. It is this treatment and the challenges associated with it that first led him to seek out distance learning. There was simply no other way for him to balance it all and achieve his educational goals.
Yet, against all odds, Ed earned a bachelor’s degree in 2013 from Excelsior, citing the extensive transfer credit from American Council on Education-approved military training for helping to lower costs and move him closer to his goals. (Ed came to Excelsior with seven transcripts!)
While conferral was a proud moment, Ed understood it for what it was – a milestone, not the end of the journey itself. To give back to his fellow veterans and others aspiring to be more, he needed a graduate degree. So, in 2013 Ed enrolled in the MBA program at Excelsior with plans to one day become a college professor.
He’s on the right path. Over the past year, Ed has maintained a 4.0 GPA. Ed has also taken on the role of counseling three new veteran students on time management, education benefits, study skills, and more as a veteran mentor through an innovative new initiative within the Center for Military Education. He’s also become the patient advocate at his dialysis unit, helping to answer questions and represent the needs of those undergoing treatment.
Ed has overcome tremendous odds to be where he is today, while excelling both academically and professionally, and still finding the time to impact the lives of others.