TSU Freshman Receives $18,000 U.S. Air Force Three-Year Scholarship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Jerry Kibet is one step closer to realizing his dream of becoming a pilot.

Kibet, a TSU freshman majoring in aeronautical and industrial technology, has received an $18,000 scholarship from the U.S. Air Force.

The three-year scholarship, offered under the Air Force’s Type 2 scholarship program, will cover tuition, fees and books. Mostly candidates in the technical fields qualify for this scholarship. Recipients must complete AFROTC training during their freshman year to retain eligibility for their sophomore year.

Kibet, a native of Kenya, is the first TSU student in more than three years to receive the Air Force’s Type 2 scholarship.

Tennessee State University officials and members of AFROTC Detachment 790 participate in the swearing-in ceremony for U.S. Air Force Cadet Jerry Kibet, under the T-38 Talon aircraft on the main campus. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

At a ceremony Tuesday, Kibet signed a contract with the Air Force and was sworn-in as a cadet. He will train with the AFROTC Detachment 790 at Tennessee State University.

Detachment Commander, Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, conducted the swearing-in ceremony under the T-38 Talon aircraft on the main campus.

She described Kibet as an individual with “academic excellence, physical excellence, and excellence in leadership.”

“It is an honor and a privilege to see a brilliant young leader who is ready to serve his country receive this award,” Presley said. “This is quite an honor for our detachment, for TSU and for the United States of America.”

Kibet, whose academic concentration is in aviation flight, said his passion for flying started at a very early age during a flight to Dubai with his parents. On their return home, he said he realized that he lived in an area that was “on a flight path.”

“Every day planes would fly over,” Kibet said. “The more I saw them go by the more my passion grew about flying until I graduated high school and came to TSU, where I was introduced to Lt. Col. Presley.”

He said Presley talked to him about the Air Fore and immediately he knew his prayers had been answered.

“Hopefully, I will become the first pilot in my family and another pilot from TSU,” Kibet said.  “My greatest goal is to represent my detachment, be loyal to my country and defend my people at all cost. I am very grateful to the U.S. Air Force and Tennessee State University for this award and this opportunity.”

Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU’s associate vice president for administration, who represented President Glenda Glover at the swearing-in, congratulated Kibet.

“This is great for TSU, great for Jerry and great for the Air Force,” Johnson said. “Jerry is a fine student.”

Members of AFROTC Detachment 790 at the ceremony were Maj. Michael Gordon, operations officer; SSgt. Keshawn Lipscomb, NCOIC administration management; and Sgt. Christopher Sankey, NCOIC personnel. Also at the ceremony was Air Force Retired Lt. Col. Michelangelo McCallister, TSU’s executive director of Auxiliary Accounts.

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.