Chase Crocker of Ocean Springs, a senior music education major at William Carey University, was recently selected as the first recipient of the Michael Iler Memorial Music Scholarship.
The scholarship was established by an anonymous donor in memory of Michael Iler of Vancleave, a Carey music student who died in March 2014 as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident caused by an alleged drunk driver. Michael Iler's wife and fellow Carey student Annissa Iler survived the crash but suffered serious injuries.
The Ilers enrolled at Carey in August 2013. During Michael Iler's short time at the university, he proved to be an outstanding student who participated in activities including the Spirit of Carey marching band and who acted as a role model for his fellow students, said Wes Dykes, assistant professor of music and coordinator of instrumental music.
Scholarship recipient Crocker was one of the students affected by Michael Iler during his short time as a Carey student.
"He was a really great guy and a big help to me in a lot of ways," said Crocker, who has remained friends with Annissa Iler during her healing process and her return to Carey following her husband's death. "I like to think that I was also a help to him and Annissa when they were new students at Carey, too."
Dykes said that Crocker was the unanimous choice to be the first scholarship recipient.
"Chase is dedicated to his major of music education, displays the jovial spirit Michael had and is a pleasure to teach," said Dykes.
The Iler Scholarship will be given on an annual basis to a worthy instrumental music student. The recipient is selected by the coordinator of instrumental activities and the other instrumental professors. For more information on the scholarship or to contribute, visit www.wmcarey.edu/advancement or call the Office for Advancement at (601) 318-6542.