Nicholas Payne ’14 (Jonesville, Mich.) was presented with the 1st Lt. Andrew K. Stern Scholarship and Rowing Award a special ceremony Monday, Sept. 16. Payne is a four-year member of the Culver Military Academy rowing team and was part of the CMA varsity 4+ team that finished third in the Grand Final of the Scholastic National Regatta over Memorial Day weekend.
The ceremony was conducted on the balcony of the White-DeVries Rowing Center, overlooking Lake Maxinkuckee. It concluded with a walk to the Legion Memorial Building behind the Gold Star Flag representing the Global War on Terrorism, the blowing of Taps, and brief moment of silence. Rowing Head Coach Guy Weaser made the presentation to Payne and spoke briefly about Stern.
The scholarship is given annually to the CMA first classman or Culver Girls Academy senior on the rowing team who best exemplifies the traits that Stern exhibited: “Dedication, Honesty, Joyfulness, Respect, and Integrity,” according to the criteria.
Stern died as a Marine serving in Iraq on Sept. 16, 2004, and was the inspiration for the rowing award, which was initiated in the fall of 2006. A crew shell is also named in his memory. A 1998 graduate, he was a cadet in Battery C, and rowed during all four years. He was a tri-captain on the rowing team and the Artillery Battalion commander during his senior year.
He continued to row at the University of Tennessee, where he was captain of the collegiate rowing team, an officer of the Inter-Fraternity Council and a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. By his second year, he was coaching novice teams at the university.
To date, Stern is the only Culver alumnus to lose his life in the Global War on Terrorism. He was just 24. He is remembered with the Gold Star Flag.