Two members of the Culver Academies rowing team shared the 1st Lt. Andrew K. Stern Scholarship and Rowing Award. Culver Girls Academy senior Ava Dauer (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Culver Military Academy first classman Corbin Steck (Decatur, Illinois) were named as the recipients during a special early morning ceremony Saturday, Sept. 14, at the White-DeVries Rowing Center.
The scholarship is given annually to seniors and first classmen on the rowing team who best exemplify the traits that Stern exhibited: “Dedication, Honesty, Joyfulness, Respect, and Integrity,” according to the criteria.
The ceremony is conducted in the quiet moments of early morning, head coach Nathan Walker said, so students can reflect on Stern’s life and legacy. The ceremony included the varsity teams rowing four shells across Aubeenaubee Bay to the Legion Memorial Building. The CGA varsity 8 used the shell named after Stern. The novice members of the team and others in attendance followed the color guard along the Lake Maxinkuckee shore to the Gold Stars on the lakeside of the Legion Memorial Building to observe a moment of silence.
Stern, a Marine, died while serving in Fallujah, Iraq, on Sept. 16, 2004. The commander of the Third Platoon, Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, Stern was positioning his tank between a group of engineers and a roadside improvised explosive device when it detonated. He is credited with saving the lives of several soldiers.
A 1998 graduate, he was a four-year 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 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.
The rowing award to honor his memory was initiated in the fall of 2006. To date, Stern is the only Culver alumnus to lose his life in the Global War on Terror. He was 24. He is also remembered with a Gold Star Flag.