Senior awarded $40,000 scholarship to Purdue

PLYMOUTH — Emotions were running high as the Purdue Alumni Club filed into a conference room at Plymouth High School last week.
They were waiting to surprise senior Calvin Eads with the Sam Elliott Perkins scholarship: A $10,000 yearly renewable award to Purdue University. The scholarship goes to one Marshall County student each year who is pursuing a degree from Purdue University.
Eads and his parents had been told that he had won a smaller scholarship and needed to come to the school to receive it. Eads had no idea that he had beat out 15 other applicants to win a significant award to Purdue this fall.
“All of our applicants were very good this year,” said Tammy Houin, president of the Purdue Alumni Club. “Calvin was very professional in his interview and you could tell he was a hard worker.”
Eads and his family entered the conference room and immediately stopped short with surprise as they noticed the Purdue alumni — and a giant Purdue cake resting on the table, next to the award certificate.
“Did you feel lucky when you woke up this morning?” one member of the club asked Eads, laughing at the shock on his face.
“No, it just felt like a Monday,” Eads responded, with a huge grin.
Eads’ parents hugged him and shook hands with the alumni, his mother brushing away tears. Eads’ hard work during his last year of high school was a large part of what made him stand out from the other applicants in the selection process, according to Houin.
“He did not slow down and say, ‘it’s my senior year,’” said Houin.
That dedication to academics and the determination to do well will pay off in a few weeks, when Eads will graduate number two in his class, and during his time at Purdue as he has the opportunity to renew the Perkins scholarship each year.
Eads was only the second student to win this particular scholarship. Joseph Portius, the 2010 winner of the scholarship, will have the chance to renew it this year for his second year at Purdue.
The Marshall County Community Foundation hopes to eventually have a Perkins scholarship winner in each year at Purdue. Currently there is a sophomore, Joseph Portius, and now a freshman, Calvin Eads attending Purdue with the Perkins award. Additional non-renewable scholarships to Purdue will be awarded to high school students during senior awards day and to current Purdue students.