Montford Point Marine Association Louisville Chapter #22 Honors LtGen Willie J. Williams, USMC (Ret) Director, Marine Corps Staff with "Louisville Slugger" at 8th Annual Covington - Hagan Scholarship Banquet

MPMA Scholarship Banquet 2012

Louisville, Kentucky; March 17, 2012: In its continuing efforts to encourage the pursuit of higher education in the local African-American community, the Montford Point Marine Association (MPMA), Louisville Chapter #22, publicly recognized three (3) outstanding young students with Covington-Hagan Scholarships at its annual banquet. Marines, officer candidates, and friends of the Corps gathered at the Hilton Garden Inn, 2735 Crittenden Drive, to honor Matthew White (Pleasure Ridge Park High School), James Nelson Alexander, Jr. (DuPont Manual High School); and Michael White (Louisville Male High School), and their parents. Keynote remarks were delivered by LtGen Willie J. Williams, USMC, who spoke of his early life in rural Alabama and how he was encouraged to pursue higher education by local educators and given an opportunity to succeed. LtGen Williams explained to the high school students, as well as the officer candidates enrolled in regional colleges, who were also in attendance, that success in life is achieved when preparation meets opportunity. LtGen Williams' remarks were motivational and inspirational, not only to the young, but also to older veterans and retirees in attendance. Courtney Freeman, Officer Candidate (Marine Corps), University of the Cumberlands, Williamsburg, Kentucky, was recognized for his patriotism and commitment with the MPMA Leadership Scholarship. LtGen Williams recognized those local Marine Corps veterans, who received their initial training at the segregated Camp Montford Point, New River, North Carolina (1942-1949). Color guard was provided by Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Fort Knox, Kentucky. Master of Ceremonies for the event was Capt Michael F. Masters, Jr., USMC, Officer Selection Officer, Lexington, Kentucky. National Anthem was sung by Ms. Janice Carter-Miller, daughter of John T. Covington, founder of the MPMA, Louisville Chapter #22, for whom this event has been named. Mr. Charles H. Stallard (Corporal, USMC, 1965-1969), who has served as president of the MPMA, Louisville Chapter #22 since 1993, was again the chairman of this very successful annual event, which effectively brings the value and discipline of the Marine Corps experience to our local African-American community, through the dedicated service and enduring patriotism of those who continue to honor the legacy of the original Montford Point Marines, who this coming May 2012, will receive the Congressional Gold Medal. Additional recognition will include the U.S. Navy commissioning of a Mobile Landing Platform ship to be named the USNS Montford Point. It was the exceptional service of these Marines, who trained at Camp Montford Point (1942-1949), that prompted President Harry S. Truman to sign an Executive Order in 1949, ending segregation in the armed forces of the United States. (Photograph by Sgt Daniel Angel, USMC, Marketing and Public Affairs, MCRSL)